Ranji Trophy: KL Rahul smashes ton against Mumbai
Karnataka opener KL Rahul continued his rich vein of form in the Ranji Trophy, scoring his 2nd first-class hundred this season and third overall, as the table-toppers took on Mumbai in the Group A fixture at Bangalore on Sunday.
Mumbai won the toss and opted to bowl first, quickly getting rid of debutant R Samarth (18) in the 10th over. Debutant left-arm seamer Saurabh Netravalkar created early inroads with the 1st wicket, keeping a check on Karnataka's scoring rate. The middle-order crumbled but Rahul held on from on one end, after surviving a couple of close calls. His resistance with the bat saw Karnataka going past 200 with ease. Though, the Mumbai bowlers struck at regular intervals. Shardul Thakur shone with the help of reverse swing on offer, claiming four wickets to rattle the opponent.
Rahul stood out from the rest and after two knocks in the nervous 90's in the previous games, finally got to a much relieved hundred. Stuart Binny joined him towards the end of Day 1, as Karnataka went to stumps with an overnight score of 228/7, with Rahul unbeaten on 120.
Perhaps, the only way to get an in-form Rahul out was a run-out, which was affected just in time by Netravalkar the following day. He departed on 133 and Karnataka were bundled out for 251 in the 1st innings.