Punjab consolidate after taking lead against Karnataka
Bangalore: Punjab clinched a crucial 76-run first-innings lead to take command of their Elite group Ranji Trophy match against Karnataka at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on Thursday.
Having made 357 in the first innings, Punjab bowled out Karnataka for a modest 281.
Batting a second time round, the visitors, who lost three wickets for 37 runs in under ten overs, finished Day Three at 119 for three.
In effect, they are 195 runs ahead. If they bat until lunch, they should be rest assured of collecting three points from this game. Mayank Sidhana, who made a gutsy 92 in the first innings, was unbeaten with 57, and giving the promising middle-order company was Uday Kaul with 23 runs to his credit.
Resuming at overnight 183 for five, Karnataka were kept in good stead by Stuart Binny (119) and C M Gautam. The duo seemed determined to steer their side to the vital lead. But Rajwinder Singh produced the breakthrough, trapping Gautam right in front. Gautam contributed 62 to the sixth-wicket partnership of 128.
Binny continued to dominate the Punjab attack, finding the pickets frequently. He had raised 46 useful runs in the company of Sunil Raju (25) before falling to Harmeet Singh.
His 119 was interspersed with 12 fours and four sixes. The Karnataka innings folded up in a trice after Binny`s fall, as they lost four wickets for seven runs.
Harmeet Singh returned with figures of four for 32. Rahul Sharma claimed three wickets for 92 while Bipul Sharma bagged two wickets.
Punjab: 357 and 119 for 3 in 41 overs (Sidhana 57 not out)
Karnataka 1st innings: 281 all out in 92.4 overs (Binny 119, Gautam 62; Harmeet Singh 4/32, Rahul Sharma 3/92).