K’taka sniff win after batsmen finally fire

Having lost outright to Haryana in their previous round, Delhi were in danger of their second straight defeat at the end of Day Three of their Ranji Trophy Group B match against Karnataka at the Chinnaswamy stadium.

Chasing 410, Delhi were 40 for three at stumps after Karnataka staged a third-innings turnaround to make light of their first innings deficit. Delhi made a great start to the day, taking four quick wickets to reduce the hosts, who had begun the day on 130 for no loss, to 167 for four. Three of the four wickets had fallen to Parvinder Awana, who had taken a five-wicket haul in the first innings before being selected in the India squad for the fourth Test against England at Nagpur.

At that point, Karnataka were only 101 ahead. But Manish Pandey and Stuart Binny pulled them out of trouble, putting on 145 for the fifth wicket at nearly four and a half runs per over. Pandey scored 61, only his second fifty of the season, off 106 balls, with seven fours and a six, before becoming left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra's first victim of the match. Binny, who had dominated the partnership, fell after Karnataka had added just eight more runs. Binny's 100-ball 85 included nine fours and four sixes, and was his second half-century of the match.

But if Delhi thought they had ended Karnataka's resistance, they were wrong. Wicketkeeper CM Gautam made 71 off just 94 balls (9x4) and put on 63 with Vinay Kumar and 83 with Abhimanyu Mithun, who smashed 52 (50b, 4x4, 2x6), only his second first class half-century. Karnataka finally declared at 475 for nine. Seamers Awana and Sumit Narwal took three wickets each.

Early inroads

With an hour to negotiate, Delhi's openers began reasonably well and put on 30 in eight overs before Vinay Kumar trapped Unmukt Chand LBW. Two overs later, HS Sharath sent back skipper Shikhar Dhawan, who was also out LBW. Three balls later, Delhi were three down, Sharath dismissing night watchman Vikas Mishra for a duck. At stumps, Mohit Sharma was at the crease with Mithun Manhas.

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