BENGALURU: Stitching together small but useful partnerships, Rest of India managed to take a crucial 20-run first innings lead against Karnataka on the second day of the Irani Trophy tie at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday.
In reply to Karnataka’s first innigns total of 244, Rest of India managed to score 264 and Karnataka were 39 for no loss in their second innings at close of play. With three days remaining, it’s as good as starting all over again.
Karnataka’s medium pacers Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun and leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal bagged three wickets apiece to apply the brakes intermittently. But Kedar Jadhav (78), Naman Ojha (34), Paras Dogra and Jayant Yadav (26 each) and finally Varun Aaron made sure that they did not finish second best in the first innings. A sixth-wicket partnership of 80 runs between Jadhav and Yadav enabled Rest of India to come within striking distance of a first innings lead after Vinay added two more wickets to his tally while Gopal also got two — one a lucky verdict.
But as the pair looked all set for a big stand, Yadav played on Gopal’s googly and Mithun brought Karnataka strongly back with two wickets in his last over before tea. But that was taken with two balls still remaining in his 16th over as Rishi Dhawan and Jadhav were out in quick succession.
Dhawan tried to pull Mithun to the leg and only lofted it high. Sharath ran in, dived forward and brought off a good catch. The well settled Jadhav knew little of a Mithun express delivery which kept low and rattled his stumps. Rest were still 25 runs short with two wickets intact at tea. However, bowling hero Aaron played some fine shots and ensured that in the company of Shradul Thakur and Pragyan Ojha, he put on useful runs and eventually enabled Rest take a crucial first innings lead.
Early in the morning Vinay struck in his first over as Jiwanjot Singh tried to fend him off on the leg-side and edged to wicket-keeper Robin Uthappa.
But Dogra and Naman batted well to put on 49 runs before Dogra tried to push forward, got an inside edge to Gopal first ball and was unfortunate to have been given out leg before. Mayank Agarwal at second slip then brought off a low diving catch as Naman tried to drive Mithun outside the off-stump and Agarwal did well to hold on to the edge after making 34.
Skipper Manoj Tiwary was beaten by an inswinging delivery and failed to get his pads away from the line of the stumps and was plumb in front. Jadhav and Yadav then joined together but Jadhav was lucky to be floored by Samarth off Vinay as he edged him outside off.