Ranji Trophy: Centurion Vinay helps Karnataka top Group A
Karnataka captain R Vinay Kumar led from the front with a maiden first-class century as Karnataka beat Punjab by 10 wickets in the Group A fixture at Hubli on Tuesday.
After electing to field on day 1, the Karnataka bowlers ripped through Punjab's batting order, bundling them for 174 in just 54.5 overs. Stuart Binny and KP Appana picked up 3 wickets each, with Manan Vohra (69) being Punjab's top-scorer.
Karnataka, known for a strong batting line-up, started off well with opener KL Rahul scoring a patient 92, before he was stumped by Siddharth Kaul. Karnataka, at 189/3, had already surpassed Punjab's total by then. Manish Pandey (161) struck a brilliant hundred, tiring the Punjab bowlers and helping his side acquire a huge first-innings lead. While the rest of the middle-order collapsed, skipper Vinay Kumar stood tall with an unbeaten 105 and Karnataka soon declared on 505/9.
Punjab responded with a strong batting performance, this time with Gurkeerat Singh slamming a patient 157 to avoid an innings defeat for his team. Supporting him was Gitansh Khera (84), who completed his half-century alongside, adding 184 runs for the 6th wicket with Singh. However, Vinay (2/62) and Abhimanyu Mithun (3/59) worked well in tandem to restrict Punjab to just 361.
Karnataka needed just 31 runs to win on day 4 and it was successfully completed in just 4.5 overs, with KL Rahul scoring a 13-ball 25 that included 5 fours. Not only did Karnataka register their 3rd outright win of the season, but also got a bonus point due favourable results elsewhere.
With 26 points to their tally, Karnataka have overtaken Mumbai to top Group A.
Brief Scores: Karnataka 505 for 9 dec (Pandey 161, Vinay 105*) and 33 for 0 (Rahul 25*) beat Punjab 174 (Vohra 69, Appanna 3-29) and 361 (Gurkeerat 157, Khera 84) by 10 wickets