Gautam guides Karnataka to 274/7 against UP

Kanpur: Wicket-keeper CM Gautam remained unbeaten on 62 to help Karnataka end the opening day at 274 for seven against Uttar Pradesh in their final round Ranji Trophy Super League Group A match here on Wednesday.

Gautam (62), Amit Verma (54) and R Vinay Kumar (51) saved Kanataka from humiliation as after, opting to bat, the visitors’ collapsed twice in their first essay.

Apart from the trio, young Manish Pandey made useful contribution with the bat with a 71-ball 36.

Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla (4/74) was the pick of UP bowlers while medium-pacers Rohit Choudhary and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar scalped two and one wicket respectively.

Already through to the quarterfinal stage, it was perfect opportunity for Karnataka willow-wielders to notch up some batting practice but they lost their three top batsmen inside the 30-run mark.

While KB Pawan (13) was bowled by Kumar, Choudhary accounted for both Robin Uthappa and Ganesh Satish with the Karnataka scoreboard reading 28 for three.

Pandey and Verma then managed to steady the ship with a 102-run fourth-wicket stand before Karnataka witnessed another batting collapse.

Chawla dismissed both Pandey and Verma within a span of five runs. While Pandey was lbw, the latter gave a simple catch to Tanmay Srivastava.

Chawla struck again when he had dangerman Stuart Binny (13), caught by skipper Mohammad Kaif.

But then came Gautam and in Vinay Kumar’s company added 91 runs for the seventh wicket to resurrect the visitor’s innings for the second time in the day before the latter became Chawla’s fourth victim.

At stumps, giving Gautam company at the crease was veteran Sunil Joshi on 13.

With two quarterfinal spots up for grabs from the group, UP will be desperate to bowl out the remaining Karnataka wickets early tomorrow.

Brief Scores:

Karnataka 1st innings: 274 for seven in 90 overs (CM Gautam 62 not out, Amit Verma 54, R Vinay Kumar 51; Piyush Chawla 4/74).