Rahul and Gautam crack centuries
Mysore: Unbeaten centuries by Lokesh Rahul and Murlidharen Gautam helped Karnataka pile up 308 for two against Vidarbha on the opening day of the their four-day Group-B Ranji Trophy match here on Saturday.
Rahul was unbeaten on 145 and Gautam was batting on 129 at stumps.
Rahul batted cautiously and built a 44-run partnership for the first wicket with Robin Uthappa, who was first to go after scoring 24 runs from 4 balls with three boundaries.
Rahul played more watchfully after he saw first Uthappa and then Ganesh Satish walking back to the pavillion after Vidarbha seamer Sandeep Singh dealt two quick blows, leaving Karnataka gasping at 52 for two.
Batting largely against a "stingless" Vidarbha attack, Rahul scored his unbeaten 145 knock from 269 balls with fifteen hits to the fence.
Gautam faced 215 balls and struck eleven fours during his unconquered knock.
Both never seemed to be in any trouble in dealing with the Vidarbha bowlers.
Sandeep Singh, who gave a push in the morning session with his two quick blows, nor Shrikant Wagh and Ravikumar Thakur could make any impact on Rahul and Gautam`s 256 runs stand.
Put into bat, Karnataka raced to 91 for two at lunch after Uthappa and Rahul put on 44 runs for the first wicket.
Rahul was unbeaten on a 40 from 73 balls while Gautam was batting on 18 after the first session on Day one.
Sandeep Singh struck in 12th over of the day when Uthappa was cleaned up to be dismissed on 24 from 42 balls with three hits to the fence.
Singh once again got into the act, picking his second wicket of the match when he removed Ganesh Satish, who has a double ton under his belt this season, for naught.