Half-centuries by Robin Uthappa (53), KB Pawan (69), Ganesh Sathish (65 batting) helped Karnataka reply strongly against Tamil Nadu on the third day of the Group B Ranji Trophy match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Sunday. Requiring 535 to overhaul TN’s total, Karnataka were 239 for 3 at stumps.
Resuming from the overnight score of 26 for no loss Pawan and Robin played with lot of understanding and maturity. Initially Robin was the impressive of the two. Robin’s move of hiring a personal coach in Praveen Amre seems to be working as the former Indian opener has developed patience. Robin took 134 balls to make 53. He played the waiting game to perfection. When well set for a big innings, a lapse of concentration saw him get trapped to Malolan Rangarajan. By then he had done his job.
Robin and Pawan added 94 for the first wicket, which was good considering the slow nature of the wicket. From that point Pawan took centre stage and with Sathish stitched a partnership worth 74 runs for the second wicket. Pawan was focussed and did not miss an opportunity to punish a short ball of both the seamers or spinners.
The way Pawan and Sathish were playing it looked as if they would end the day with their pads intact. But Pawan was done in by change of pace from Abhinav Mukund. Pawan’s ambitious shot ended up as a skier and Lakshmipathy Balaji lapped up the offering. A lot depended on Manish Pandey but he was out to a sharp one from Malolan, with Dinesh Karthik completing the formalities behind the stumps.
Thereafter Sathish along with Amit Verma forged a good partnership and look well set to do the rescue act on the final day on Monday. Sathish and Verma were harsh on M Ashwin, who kept pitching it short, besides bowling full tosses. Ashwin and Mohammed overstepped quite often.
“We would have been happy for another 30 odd runs more, but the wicket was slow and scoring runs was not easy. A couple of wickets fell unnecessarily like the one Pawan skied. However, we are confident of chasing the first innings target as we have depth in our batting. Plus Sathish and Amit are playing well,” said Karnataka skipper Vinay Kumar.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 538-4 decl vs Karnataka 239-3 (Pawan 69, Uthappa 53, Sathish 65 no, Malolan 2-67).