14 wickets fall on Day 1 of Ranji final
Skipper Vinay Kumar took five for 34 as defending champions Karnataka skittled out Tamil Nadu for 134 on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament final, which saw 14 wickets tumble at the Wankhede stadium on Sunday.
The holders wrapped up the Tamil Nadu first-innings in 62.4 overs, just 28 minutes after the tea session. At stumps, Karnataka were struggling at 45 for four after 14 overs, trailing by 89 runs.
Tamil Nadu batsmen started the innings with a cautious approach and kept consuming balls. Electing to field, Karnataka bowlers made the best use of the slightly green top wicket and made early inroads.
Vinay Kumar started the slide in the seventh over, when he trapped opener Murali Vijay leg before, leaving Tamil Nadu at 13 for one. He struck again two overs later to get rid off Baba Aparajith (1) with an inswinging delivery, which sneaked through the young batsman’s defences.
Dinesh Karthik scored 11 off 20 balls but was unlucky to be given caught behind as the ball had grazed his chest, further reducing the side to 34 for three. Tamil Nadu kept losing wickets at regular intervals and the pressure kept mounting with the runs trickling in at a snail’s pace.
Things didn’t improve for Tamil Nadu as Vijay Shankar was plumb leg before to a Vinay Kumar delivery, leaving the side reeling at 49 for four. Resuming at 60 for four, Tamil Nadu lost the rest of the side for just 74 runs. Karnataka struck once again after lunch when Sreenath Aravind dismissed Ramaswamy Prasanna (6) to send half the side to the hut. Opener Abhinav Mukund, who provided some resistance with his 137-ball 35, too was sent back when Vinay Kumar castled him.
Things could have been much worse for Tamil Nadu had Manish Pandey not dropped Mukund at second slip in the second over of the innings. The Tamil Nadu captain, however, couldn’t capitalise on the reprieve.
Indrajith and Malolan Rangarajan did the repair job for the side and added 31 runs for the seventh wicket. Off-spinner Rangarajan (11) perished when he gloved a short-pitched ball from Abhimanyu Mithun to leave his side stumbling at 100 for seven. Indrajith (27 off 75 balls) lost his patience and mistimed a pull shot to short mid-wicket. His 102 minutes at the crease yielded four boundaries.
Aswin Crist infused some life by striking some lusty blows. He struck two sixes and a four in his 20-ball 21. Apart from Vinay Kumar’s five-for, Mithun scalped three for 54, while H S Sharath and Aravind Shreenath picked up a wicket apiece.
In reply, Karnataka, too, faltered in their first innings, losing three wickets for 16, as Tamil Nadu sought to make a fightback. Opener KL Rahul (1) retired hurt in the fourth over after taking a single. He had hurt himself while fielding. It signalled Karnataka’s slide as they lost the other opener R Samarth in the next ball. Samarth struck three fours in his 17-ball 14 before being caught at second slip by Murali Vijay off Laxmipathy Balaji. The title holders lost Shishir Bhavane in the next over, when Indrajith caught him at the third slip off Prasanth Parameswaran. Leading run scorer for this season with 912 runs, Robin Uthappa, failed to score a run. He was caught by Indrajith at third slip off Balaji in the sixth over.
Briefscores TN (1st innings) 134 all out (Abhinav Mukund 35, Vinay Kumar 5/34, Abhimanyu Mithun 3/54); Karnataka (1st innings) 45/4 (Lakshmipathy Balaji 3/10).
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