Ranji Trophy: Manish Pandey hits century before Mumbai fight back

Mumbai: Karnataka`s Manish Pandey continued his domination of the Mumbai attack by notching up his second century in as many matches against the 39-time Ranji Trophy champions before retiring due to cramps in the Elite Group A match at the Brabourne Stadium on Thursday.

Pandey stroked his way to a fluent 101 in 114 balls before retiring to the dressing room because of leg cramps.

Mumbai fought back to trigger a mini collapse before Karnataka recovered to a healthy-looking 316 for 5 at stumps on day one after electing to bat, with Amit Verma (44) and skipper R Vinay Kumar (21) the not out batsmen at close.

Apart from Pandey, who faced 114 balls and struck 13 fours and a six, Ganesh Satish made an attractive 83 in 181 balls with eleven fours and opener Robin Uthappa produced a whirlwind 49 in only 53 balls with ten hits to the fence before getting out to an outstanding catch behind the stumps.

When Pandey, who had struck a brilliant ton when the two teams met last in the Ranji final two season ago at Mysore, left the ground before tea, Karnataka were sitting pretty at 202 for 2.

The visitors then progressed to 236 at the break and then were 245 without further loss when they lost three quick wickets for 23 runs.

However, a steady, unbeaten knock in 113 balls and 141 minutes by left hander Verma - after he was let off on 10 when the total was 289 for 4 - and his unfinished stand of 48 runs with Vinay Kumar for the sixth wicket kept Mumbai from making further inroads.

With Pandey expected to resume his innings on the morrow, Karnataka can hope for a score in excess of 400 at least if they can negotiate the new ball which was taken four overs before stumps when their total stood at 299 for 5.

For Mumbai, Dhawal Kulkarni struck an early blow by sending back opener K B Pawan for a duck in the eighth over, and Abhishek Nayar grabbed Uthappa`s wicket.

The other three wickets were claimed by the two left arm spinners - Iqbal Abdulla and Ankit Chavan - with the former claiming the wickets of C M Gautham and Stuart Binny in seven balls after Chavan had dismissed Satish.

In the morning on a very good batting track, Karnataka made a blazing start despite the fall of Pawan, when the score was 16, with Uthappa in a punishing mood.

However, he was pouched in brilliant fashion by a diving catch on his leg side by wicket keeper Onkar Gurav one run short of a well-deserved half century to bring Pandey in.

Pandey and Satish, let off by Mumbai captain Wasim Jaffer in the slips off Kulkarni when on 15, carried the score along merrily with forthright batting.

The duo had added 140 runs in quick time, Pandey reaching his seventh first class hundred in 111 balls in the process, before he left the field.

Satish also looked well on track to a hundred when he attempted a pull off Chavan and top-edged the ball for Suryakumar Yadav to take the catch at short mid wicket that ended the third wicket partnership among three batsmen at 183.

This started a mini-slide as Abdulla trapped Gautham and Binny right in front with arm balls as Karntaka slid to 268 for 5.

Things could have been worse had Verma`s catch off Nayar been pouched by Gurav who dived in front of first slip Jaffer to grass it.

Karnataka recovered from this position through the unconquered partnership between Verma and Vinay Kumar.

Brief scores: Karnataka 316 for 5 (R Uthappa 49, G Satish 83, M Pandey 101 retired, A Verma batting 44, Vinay Kumar batting 21; I Abdulla 2 for 70) vs Mumbai.


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