Punjab make strong start against Karnataka

Bangalore: Half centuries by Sarul Kanwar (89), Karan Goel (71) and Mayank Sidhana (batting 61) helped Punjab reach 278 for four and steal the honours on Day One of their Elite Group Ranji Trophy match against Karnataka on Tuesday.

Opting to bat, Punjab, who are seeking to augment their position to notch a berth in the quarter-finals, lost a well-set Goel just before draw of stumps at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.

Punjab were served well by Kanwar and Ravi Inder Singh (24) who raised 101 runs for the first wicket. Kanwar and Indier Singh had applied themselves to the task before the latter was run out.

Karnataka, who have virtually qualified for the quarterfinals with 20 points before this game, were lucky to rid Kanwar from the crease when he was bowled by off-spinner Sunil Raju.

The premature fall of Uday Kaul, who was caught behind by C M Gautam off N C Aiyappa, raised Karnataka`s hopes of running through the rest of the Punjab batting.

But Goel and Mayank Sidhana put paid to the six-times champions` hope with an enterprising 107-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

Goel`s stubborn 71 was laced with ten boundaries.

Brief scores:

Punjab 1st innings: 278/4 in 91 overs (Sarul Kanwar 89, Goel 71, Mayank Sidhana (batting) 61).


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