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Karnataka squander advantage


17th December 2017
Karnataka finished day one at 36 for 3 after Vidarbha's innings folded for 185 all out during their semi final tie of the Ranji Trophy at the Eden Gardens, kolkata. 
Despite the conditions prevalent, the Vidarbha team elected to bat after calling correctly. The decision to bat was a boomerang as the Karnataka mauled them with consistent pace and power. 
The openers Faiz Fazal and Sanjay Ramaswamy commenced on a decent note and the initial session looked to be in safe hands after few strokes off their bats. Soon after the first wicket fell for 22 runs and Vidharbha looked to loose composure. 
A flashy and misjudged straight drive rendered the in-form Faiz Fazal to be sent off the ground for 12. Ramaswamy followed suit as he was soon caught lbw off Stuart Binny getting dismissed for 22.
Karnataka maintained its dominant sting that has since 2013 do so well in domestic level. While the presence of veteran Jaffer gave Vidarbha a sigh of relief at 95 for 2 at lunch their innings crumbled like a pack of cards folding for 185 by tea.
The post lunch session stood witness to the monumental collapse of the Vidarbha as Karnataka sent them packing. The Vidarbha team fell to their face trying to read the length of the pitch only to have three more dismissals in quick succession before tea.
With a truly amazing spell with two successive dismissals in an over, Abhimanyu Mithun displayed a binding session of his bowling prowess. Following Satish's dismissal and Wankhade's in the same over Mithun stood dominant. 
Satish who was dropped at 14 by Arvind got dismissed for 31. Karnataka Keeper, Gautam took a brilliant catch diving down the leg side and picking up a mistimed glance. 
Mithun who made sure of getting movements off the track bowled some fascinating deliveries. Despite the fact that the wicket displayed a low carry during the first two sessions he made the most out of it with his constant blitz and hitting the deck hard pulling out 5 wickets. Beating his personal best of 2 wickets in the 34th over he fell a ball short of a hattrick taking three wickets in the 57th over of Akshay Wakhade (18), Rajneesh Gurbani (0) and Umesh Yadav (0) innthe third, fourth and sixth delivery of the 57th over of the match.
Coming down to ball, the last session had a nail biting outcome as the Vidarbha boys with Umesh and Gurbani in the ranks showed some real movement with the ball while the pitch exhibited a good carry and great movement. Gurbani who dismissed Samarth for 6 bowled full tilt pulling out Nischal's as well, while teammate Umesh got 1. 
In a post match press conference the Karnataka paceman said, "It was a good wicket to bowl on and there was no specific plans but to bowl the right areas and stick to the basics. The second spell gave a me a lot of confidence and getting a wicket early was a positive outcome and that kept me going. The ball showed a lot of movement and especially keeping the ball in the right areas and maintaining a good length helped me to concentrate my deliveries in the areas where dismissals were likely to happen."
Asked about the preparations for the next day with 3 wickets already down he said, "With a good partnership on board we can hope for a comfortable position in the second day. With a proper partnership during the first session and a good early start would ensure a smooth comeback  and may be it would then be possible to exercise that pressure on our counterpart."
With 14 overs short the match was interrupted due to bad light bringing the Karnataka team some relief. At stumps Karun Nair and C M Gautam were batting at 6 and 9 respectively.


CAB MEDIA DESK
Saptaswa Mukerjee