Ranji Trophy 2012: Karnataka look to register season`s first win

Bangalore: Having managed to salvage a draw against Uttar Pradesh in the last match, Karnataka would look to register an outright win on their home turf when they lock horns with Odisha in the Ranji Trophy Group B match at Chinnaswamy Stadium here tomorrow.

This clash is probably Karnataka`s best chance of winning their first match this season as they would be playing in conditions known to them.

A victory could catapult Karnataka to third or fourth place in the Group B table.

The season, so far, for Karnataka has been dismal as they could garner only five points from three drawn games.

Karnataka nearly lost to UP as they finished at 274 for 8, chasing a target of 446 with tailenders doggedly standing firmly rooted at the crease on the last day of the tie.

In their opening match, Karnataka lost points to Baroda by conceding the first innings lead.

However, a splendid double century by Ganesh Satish and a scintillating unbeaten 130 by Gautam Murlidharen saw them overhaul Tamil Nadu`s first innings lead in the second match. The tie fetched them three vital points.

Karnataka batsmen, who have been brilliant only in patches so far, would look to utilise familiar conditions to their advantage to get back to form.

Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, K B Pawan have half centuries under their belt their performances have been below expectations.

As far as bowling is concerned, Karnataka are facing problems with pacers Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun suffering from injuries, but it may not be a big issue against Odisha batting lineup that has so far not exhibited brilliance on the field.

In contrast, Odisha would be eager to take a leaf out of their winning performance against Haryana in the previous match and wish to show they are no less a side against a strong Karnataka.

It was Basant Mohanty`s inspiring bowling with figures of nine for 81 that set up the win against Haryana. Odisha reached the target of 148 after losing six wickets.

But it would not be easy for the visitors as they will have to negotiate a formidable Karnataka, at least on paper.

The hosts, on the other hand, are expected to go all out to pocket crucial points and boost their confidence as they play their next four games in their backyard.