Vinay Kumar, Aravind bundle out Punjab for 243

Mohali: Pacers R Vinay Kumar and Sreenath Aravind helped Karnataka bundle out Punjab for a mere 243 on the opening day of the Super League Group B Ranji Trophy match here at the PCA stadium.

Despite Punjab’s Uday Kaul scoring a brilliant 94, Vinay Kumar (5 for 61) and Aravind (4 for 63) dominated the day’s proceedings to push the hosts on to the backfoot.

Put into bat by Karnataka, Punjab top-order completely failed to counter Vinay Kumar’s deadly spell. And although Kaul and Yuvraj Singh (39), tried to consolidate the innings for some time but the Indian discard also could not sustain for long and got out.

Punjab received an early jolt, losing opener Ravi Inder Singh (0) in the very first over when he got bowled out, with Vinay Kumar claiming his first scalp. Other opener Sarul Kanwar (26) too fell to Vinay Kumar.

Already reeling at 2-42, Punjab got another setback as Harmeet Singh Bansal (0), a tail-ender who was surprisingly promoted up the order, found his stumps shattered with Vinay yet again inflicting the damage.

At this stage, Yuvraj and Kaul steadied the innings and looked like the two left-handers would steer the team out of trouble.

But 84-run partnership between the two came to an end when Yuvraj, who made 39 of 98 balls with six boundaries, knicked one past wicketkeeper Muralidharen Gautam of left-arm pacer Sreenath Aravind’s bowling.

Punjab skipper Pankaj Dharmani (7), who was then expected to steer his team to safety, looked shaky from the start and was trapped lbw when he tried to play a shot off the backfoot of left arm spinner Sunil Joshi.

Kaul was the sixth wicket to fall when he edged past the wicketkeeper of Aravind’s bowling. His knock was studded with 13 boundaries and came from 194 balls.

Next to get out was middle-order batsman Vishwas Bhalla (13), who became Aravind’s third victim.

But as Punjab were struggling at 7-190, all-rounder Manpreet Gony (21), who replaced injured Luv Ablish for this match, chipped in with some useful runs before falling prey to Vinay Kumar.

But the right-arm pacer Vinay did not stop there as he went on to claim his fifth wicket in the form of Rajwinder Singh, who became the third Punjab batsman to be out on a duck on Wednesday.

Then Karan Goel (24), who batted down the order on the day, fell lbw to Aravind.

While this is Karnataka’s first match of the season, Punjab have already conceded the first-innings lead in their opening game against Uttar Pradesh that earned them just one point.

Brief scores:

Punjab 1st innings: 243 all out in 89.5 overs (Uday Kaul 94, Yuvraj Singh 39, R Vinay Kumar 5-61, Sreenath Aravind 4-63).