Pandey hits maiden double ton to put Karnataka on top

Mumbai: Manish Pandey struck an unbeaten maiden double century after resuming his cramps-interrupted innings on 101 this morning, while Amit Verma scored 173 to put Karnataka on top against Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match on Friday.

Pandey remained unconquered on exactly 200, after a stay of 321 minutes in which he struck 23 fours and a six, after which Karnataka declared their first innings closed at a mammoth 635 for nine, 25 minutes after tea on day two of the four-day match.

In reply, Mumbai were three for one after the dismissal of captain Wasim Jaffer for a duck in the first over before recovering to end the day at 37 for one in 12 overs.

Ajinkya Rahane, drafted into the home team after he was released from the Indian Test squad to play the match, was unbeaten on 23, while Abhishek Nayar -- who had scored a double century in Mumbai`s game against Rajasthan -- was the other not out batsman on 14.

The 39-time champions needed 399 more runs to avoid following on and were 598 runs short of Karnataka`s imposing first innings total on a wicket that still played true.

The major part of the day was spent by Mumbai in chasing leather after Karnataka resumed their innings at the overnight 316 for five with left-handed batsman Verma (41) and captain Vinay Kumar (21) on strike.

Mumbai captured the wicket of the visiting team skipper in the 29th over of the morning when Ramesh Powar bowled him off a defensive shot for 57 after which Verma and Pandey, who had retired to the dressing room yesterday before tea after scoring his first hundred runs, took centre stage.

The seventh wicket duo put on 167 runs in 178 balls to boost Karnataka`s score close to the 550-run mark.

Verma, who had compiled his century in 210 balls after being let off early in the innings, was finally deceived in flight by a well-tossed up ball by Powar who had him stumped.

Verma faced 275 balls in his 372-minute knock and hit 18 fours and three sixes. He had put on a century stand with captain Vinay Kumar too for the sixth wicket.

Karnataka, 544 for seven at Verma's fall, continued to pile on Mumbai's agony with the hard-hitting Abhimanyu Mithun (45 in 37 balls) adding 69 runs in quick time with Pandey.

Mithun struck Powar for three huge leg-side sixes and also hit four fours before edging left-arm spinner Ankit Chavan to Jaffer at slip.

Chavan got rid off of S Aravind cheaply before Pandey reached his double ton by steering the left-arm spinner for a single to gully. Karnataka applied closure immediately.

Spinners Iqbal Abdulla (2 for 130), Powar (2 for 150) and Chavan (3 for 115) were expensive but took the majority of wickets for Mumbai.

The visitors, who were level at nine points with Mumbai going into the tie, struck a big blow to the hosts' hopes of matching them in the first innings by sending back Jaffer for no score. The India discard misread the swing from Vinay Kumar, offered no stroke to a ball that came in and rapped him on pads, and was leg before.

Rahane, who has been in the India reserves for the first two Tests against the West Indies, looked confident along with the left-handed Nayar and Mumbai's hopes rest largely on this and the in-form Rohit Sharma.

Brief Scores:

Karnataka 635 for 9 decl : (R Uthappa 49, G Satish 83, M Pandey 200 not out, A Verma 173, Vinay Kumar 57, A Mithun 45; I Abdulla 2 for 130, R Powar 2 for 150, A Chavan 3 for 115).

Mumbai : 37 for 1 (A Rahane batting 23, A Nayar batting 14).


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