Kolkata: Bengal pacer Ashok Dinda intimidated the batsmen with a four-wicket burst before Karnataka staged a recovery to be 237/7 on a curtailed day 1 of their Group A Ranji Trophy fixture at the Eden Gardens here today.
Dinda (4/50) and Veer Pratap Singh (3/45) utilised the early morning moisture and light breeze to perfection as they reduced Karnataka to 69/5 with a fine display of seam bowling after Laxmi Ratan Shukla put the visitors in.
But the duo did not get enough support from veteran Shib Shankar Paul as Karnataka turned it around with an attacking 81-ball 63 from CM Gautam.
Captain R Vinay Kumar remained unbeaten on 42 with legspinner Shreyas Gopal giving support on 27 when bad light stopped play at 3pm with only 66 overs bowled in the day.
Fresh from his 94 in their big win over Tamil Nadu, Gautam hit 11 fours and one six in his impressive innings in a 64-run partnership with Binny, who was dismissed at the stroke of lunch that yielded six wickets.
Gautam however could not make it big as his innings was cut short when Veer Pratap's delivery nipped back to take a thick edge to Subhajit Banerjee at gully.
The wicket also eased up and Vinay Kumar and Gopal looked untroubled in their undefeated 59-run partnership when the day's proceeding was cut short with 24 overs in arrears.
Earlier, Dinda showed why is he a threat in the domestic circuit as his two wickets from two overs reduced Karnakata to 9/2.
Robin Uthappa was beaten by a beautiful away going delivery to be dismissed for a second-ball duck while Mayank Agarwal (5) got a thin edge in Dinda's second over.
A pumped-up Dinda was however let down by his experienced new-ball partner Shib Shankar Paul.
Paul did not have pace or movement in his uninspiring spell and it seemed it was a bad selection to pick him ahead of Saurav Sarkar.
Skipper Shukla finally realised it was time to hand the ball to Veer Pratap and the young quick returned with the scalp of Karun Nair in his very first over.
It was a treat to watch Dinda going full throttle in his first spell (7-3-19-3) as the ball did everything and the star-studded Karnataka top order had no answer.
Reduced to 69/5, Stuart Binny (37) counter-attacked before becoming Dinda's fourth victim in a rather soft manner when he gave a straight catch to the pacer.
Karnataka 237/7; 66 overs (C M Gautam 63, R Vinay Kumar 42 batting, Shreyas Gopal 27 batting; Ashok Dinda 4/50, Veer Pratap Singh 3/45) v Bengal.