Shimoga: Mohammed Kaif`s unbeaten 101 and his century-plus stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar took Uttar Pradesh within 38 runs of snatching the crucial first innings lead against Karnataka on day two of the Ranji Trophy Elite Division Group `A` match on Thursday.
Restricting Karnataka to 314, Uttar Pradesh made 276 for six when stumps were drawn for the day at Jawaharlal Nehru National College of Engineering Ground.
As had Karnataka on the first day (171 for five), Uttar Pradesh too were floundering at 172 for six before Kaif, who batted with intent, and Bhuvneshwar (52 batting) reconstructed the tattered innings with an undefeated 104-run stand.
A lot will depend on this duo if Uttar Pradesh are to establish a sizeable lead and try to force a win in the match. Only a victory will help them beat Punjab to a quarter-final berth from Group A.
Kaif struck fifteen boundaries during his 308-minute stay at the crease. Bhuvneshwar, who came away with a five-wicket haul, hit five boundaries.
Mokul Daggar (37) and Parvinder Singh (46) also contributed their mite.
Earlier, Karnataka, resuming at their overnight score of 300 for seven, barely lasted five overs in the first session as Bhuvneshwar ran through the lower order.
The talented seamer accounted for the scalp of S L Akshay (16), Stuart Binny (94) and N C Aiyappa (1) to put Uttar Pradesh back in the saddle.
Bhuvneshwar finished with impressive figures of five for 84.
Binny fell six runs short of what would have been his third hundred of the season, nicking Bhuvneshwar to skipper Suresh Raina. He hit 10 fours and two sixes during his 165-minute vigil at the wicket.
Brief scores: Karnataka 314 all out in 95 overs (Stuart Binny 94, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 5/84, Imtiyaz Ahmed 3/80).
Uttar Pradesh: 276 for 6 in 83 overs (Mohammad Kaif 101 batting, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 52 batting; Amit Verma 1/19, Sunil Raju 1/29).