Bengal-Karnataka tie evenly poised
2nd March 2020
As the lazy spring sun looked to call it a day, Eden Gardens sprung to life with two late wickets from Akash Deep and Mukesh Kumar that raised Bengal's hopes of qualifying for the Ranji final despite Karnataka's Devdutt Padikkal's grinding half century. At stumps Karnataka need 254 runs to win and Bengal 7 wicket taking deliveries.
The second ball of the first over of Karnataka's chase found the crowd rise in raptures as Ishan Porel trapped KL Rahul with an inswinger from over the wicket. Rahul wanted to challenge the call, but couldn't since he was not offering any shot and the impact didn't matter.
Karnataka shuffled the batting order to bring together two of their inform batters Siddharth Samarth and Devdutt Palikkal to stem the rot. They did what they were sent for putting together a 51-run partnership before Akash got the much needed breakthrough. This brought the mojo back as Mukesh Kumar send back skipper Karun Nair to tilt the scales back in favour albeit very slightly.
At stumps Padikkal looked solid and had a flirting Manish Pandey for company.
Earlier, in the morning the match looked well poised, with Bengal 262 in front and six wickets in hand. But Karnataka did not let the lower order wag it's tail this time round as Bengal innings folded for 162 with an overall lead of 352.
Karnataka finished the day at 98 for 3 with a humdinger in store on Day 4 of a semi-final that keeps twisting like a thriller novel.
CAB MEDIA DESK