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Nair breathe for Karnataka


18th December 2017
Karun Nair's gritty innings helped Karnataka to acquire important first innings lead of 109 runs against Vidarbha on Day 2 of their Ranji trophy semi-final tie at Eden Gardens.At stumps, Karnataka was 294/8.
Karun Nair played an innings of great vigour under immense pressure at a time when wickets kept falling at the other end and top-order failed miserably. He stitched vital partnerships to take them out of danger.The right-hander showed great temperament throughout his flawless innings of 148 not out with 20 boundaries and one six.He regained the form by a steller 13th first-class tonnes by pushing Sarvate to mid-on.
Resuming the day at 36/3, lack of discipline by Vidarbha bowlers enabled Karnataka to take the driver's seat. When the match was slipping away from the grasp of Vidarbha, C M Gautam(73) threw away his wicket by slashing an outside off bowl to get caught at deep point,thus Umesh Yadav broke 139runs partnership.
A brilliant spell of Gurbani after lunch saw Karnataka lost three wickets. A late outward movement left Binny clueless as he was brought to play and gave a simple catch behind the stump. After a heroic 150 in Quarter-final,Shreyas Gopal got lucky as an inside-edge missed the stumps by a whisker in the second ball he faced. ...balls later, Gopal was done away by Gurbani. The ball pitched on the seam and having caught in two minds Shreyas edged it to first slip.
Gowtham K was deceived by a slower ball and got caught at gally,thus claiming third consecutive 5-wickets haul.
Abhimanyu Mithun paid price for rash shot as Sarvate hit the bull's eye, leaving Karnataka at 225/8. Later, Karnataka skipper, Vinay Kumar,(20) sticked around with Nayar with an unbeaten partnership of 69 runs in 149 deliveries.
The man of the day Karun Nair said, '' I played every ball on its merit. I stayed positive throughout the innings. Pressure always brings best out of me. On this deck, it is better not to drive too much.So I did not go for drive or cover drive. I wanted them to ball short or on stumps and pounced on them.'', in a post-match media interaction.



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