Ranji Trophy: Karnataka-Vidarbha Semis Clash Hangs In Balance
Abhimanyu Mithun claimed a third five-wicket haul of the season as Vidarbha were bundled out for 185. In reply, Karnataka ended the day at 36 for three on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy semi-final clash.
Abhimanyu Mithun claimed a third five-wicket haul of the season as Vidarbha were bundled out for 185. In reply, Karnataka ended the day at 36 for three on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy semi-final clash on Sunday. Mithun, who took his 11th five-wicket haul, finished the day with figures of 16-6-45-5 and was ably aided by skipper R Vinay Kumar (2/36) as 13 wickets fell on day one. However, eight-time Ranji winners were in a spot of bother when bad light stopped play. Karnataka still trail Vidarbha by 149 runs with four days play still remaining.
Young Rajneesh Gurbani (2/9) put up a fine display of pace bowling under the shadow of Umesh Yadav (1/22) as 13 wickets fell on the eventful opening day on a green Eden top.
Karnataka's in-form openers R Samarth and Mayank Agarwal returned to the pavilion with the scoreboard reading 21, while D Nischal was cleaned up for a duck in his comeback match after being beaten by a nice pace variation by Gurbani.
At close vice-captain Karun Nair was batting on six alongside wicketkeeper batsman CM Gautam (9).
Having caught up by a traffic jam due to Kolkata 25K run event that caused a 30-minute delay in start of the match, Vidarbha surprised all and sundry when skipper Faiz Fazal opted to bat on a green top.
Vidarbha were going steady on 49 for two after some early morning jitters when Mithun opened the gates in the third over after lunch striking with his first and sixth balls.
Mithun's first victim was Ganesh Satish (31) who edged one behind the stumps and wicketkeeper C M Gautam latched on to a one-handed diving catch to his left.
Apoorv Wankhade (1) followed suit after an inside edge off Mithun while S Aravind took the prized scalp of veteran Wasim Jaffer (39) as he took an outside edge playing forward to be caught by R Samarth at second slip.
Mithun was on fire in his third spell of 4-0-12-3 as he took three scalps in a single over to reduce Vidarbha to 171 for nine.
Aditya Sarvate and Akshay Wakhare were going steady before Mithun's burst ensured a collapse.
Mithun was even on a hat-trick but Umesh kept out the hat-trick ball before falling to the same bowler off the final delivery of the over.
Vidarbha's top scorer Aditya Sarvate (47) was caught in the cover with spinner Shreyas Gopal taking the last wicket.
Vidarbha were bolstered by the return of Umesh Yadav but Fazal's decision denied the India pacer a chance to make full use of the conditions on offer.
Karnataka skipper Vinay Kumar drew the first blood, trapping his Vidarbha counterpart and leading rungetter Fazal for 12.
Stuart Binny then removed another in-form batsman Sanjay Ramaswamy for 22.
With the wicket offering assistance, Vidarbha looked in trouble at 49 for two inside 17 overs.
It was left to their experienced duo of Jaffer and Satish as they steadied the ship to see through the first session with some element of luck.
Satish got a reprieve on 14, while Jaffer got an edge on 30 but it fell short of Mayank Agarwal at third slip.
Vidarbha: 185 all out in 61.4 overs (Aditya Sarwate 47; Abhimanyu Mithun 5/45) vs Karnataka: 36/3 in 14 overs.
(With PTI Inputs)