Vinay's Karnataka Earns Revenge
Karnataka secure 3 points to overhaul Mumbai in their Ranji Trophy league encounter. The win placates the south zone star side 21 months after a fiery tempered match against the same side.
Day 4: Karnataka 635 for 9 decl, Mumbai 441 all out
Second innings: Karnataka 147 for 3. Match drawn.
Points secured: Karnataka 3, Mumbai 1
Onlookers would have been slightly bemused that after Karnataka held Mumbai to a total that allowed them the option of the follow on, they did not enforce it with an hour’s short of a full day’s play. Folks, welcome to the era of the overtaxed cricketer. Their bowlers were too tired to fire ‘missiles’ that would thwart ten batsmen. Any other side too would have done the same. Of course, don’t just think the bowler’s lack have the stamina or the ambition. They have plenty of that. But he schedule of the Ranji Trophy itself makes mules of cricketers!
No wonder then that Rahul Dravid said two seasons ago that if administrators or selectors truly wanted teams to play ‘positively’ every time, the cricket calendar would have to be eased by playing fewer matches or spacing them out better. Captains obviously want to keep their bowlers injury free for the matches to come.
Anyway, all that took nothing away from the fact that Karnataka secured three points based on the first innings lead they procured. The highlight of the fourth morning was Mumbai’s Abhishek Nayar (191) and number 11 Ankit Chavan putting on 86 runs for the last wicket before the latter played a full pitch into Manish Pandey’s hands at silly mid on, a seemingly soft dismissal. Nayar was denied his double century, but his effort was almost identical to Manish Pandey’s of Karnataka, where both batsmen had retired hurt with cramps after posting their respective centuries and returned to bat the following day to post an even bigger individual score.
Nayar looked disappointed at the non striker’s end as he saw his last partner literally play into the opposition’s hands. Apart from his own double century being around the corner, the last wicket stand too was nearing a hundred and then again, 44 more runs would have helped Mumbai avoid the ignominy of the follow on. The judicious left-handed had also eschewed singles so as to protect his partner and lengthen the stand. Some of these thoughts must have been at the back of Nayar’s mind. However, Karnataka erupted with joy at the fall of the last wicket, for inevitable though it was, the result had been actually been secured.
Skipper Vinay got four wickets in total. Karnataka on opting not to enforce the follow-on, finished the day at 147 for 3 before play was called off at 3 pm by mutual consent of both captains. A successful outing for Karnataka who set to rest the ghosts of the 2009-10 season, the last time the two teams met, in the final in Mysore. An elated Karnataka will look to go from strength to strength.