Karnataka in drivers` seat in Ranji match against Saurashtra

Last Updated: Dec 01, 2011, 19:54 PM IST

Bangalore: Karnataka took complete control of their Elite Group Ranji Trophy match against Saurashtra as they declared their first innings at an impressive 503 for seven before removing five rival batsmen, on Thursday.

Saurashtra were 179 for five at stumps with Sitanshu Kotak (7) and Pratik Mehta (1) at the crease.

Saurashtra could have been deeper trouble had opener Chirag Pathak not carved an enterprising 95.

Chetswara Pujara made a disappointing return to first class cricket when he succumbed for nine. Pujara, playing his first match since recovering from a career-threatening knee injury, was scalped by off-spinner Sunil Raju.

His fall at 138, put Saurashtra on the mat on day three of the run and bad light affected match.

Earlier, Karnataka, resuming at their overnight 369 for four, declared their first innings into the second session of play.

Bharat Chipli, who replaced an injured Manish Pandey in the squad, grabbed the opportunity with both hands, making an imperious 159 not out.

The flamboyant right-hander struck 18 fours and three sixes during his unbeaten 194-ball easy at the wicket. Stuart Binny also compiled a half century (57) while producing 102 runs for the fifth wicket with Chipli.

Medium pacer Sandip Maniar, who had Binny snaffled behind the stumps by Jogiyani, also picked up the wickets of CM Gautam (0) and Sunil Raju (2) to stall Karnataka`s march.

But Chipli went hammer and tongs as Karnataka tail lay exposed. The dashing middle-order batsman raised 73 runs for the unbroken eighth wicket with debutant SK Akshay (6).

Maniar (4/125) was the most successful bowler for Saurashtra. Trivedi returned with two wickets (2/86).

PTI