Ranji Trophy: Mithun bowls Karnataka to outright win
Abhimanyu Mithun registered his best bowling figures in first-class cricket (11/110) as he guided Karnataka to a 4-wicket victory in the Group A game against Odisha at Cuttack on Sunday.
Odisha, who were put in to bat on Day 1 had no answer to Mithun's fiery spell as he ran through their batting line-up one after the other. Their top-order collapsed miserably, until Abhilash Mallick (98) offered some resistance with his gutsy knock. Mallick missed out on a well-deserved century, but he resurrected Odisha's batting along with the tail, who chipped in with useful runs. No.11 Suryakant Pradhan worked hard for his 34, before his dismissal resulted in Odisha ending their 1st innings on 226. Mithun stood out with figures of 6/52, and was brilliantly supported by newcomer Abrar Kazi (2/38) from the other end.
Karnataka's top-order started off well, with KL Rahul (67) reaching his fifty and Manish Pandey (132) scoring a patient hundred to boost Karnataka's chances of a healthy lead. The middle-order looked weak with starts thrown away too early. Once again, it was Mithun who came to the rescue, this time with the bat as he contributed with a well-made 43 that included 6 fours and 1 six. The Karnataka 1st innings folded up for 379 with a handsome lead of 153 runs.
Odisha responded strongly with a century from their skipper Biplab Samantray (106) and Mallick's (50) consecutive fifty in the match, but witnessed yet another batting failure from the rest of the batsmen. Mithun (5/58) and HS Sharath (5/80) bagged 5 wickets each, collectively bringing an end to Odisha's 2nd innings on 279. The target for Karnataka was 126 and they had an entire day to chase it down.
It wasn't too easy for Karnataka, who lost 6 wickets chasing a comparatively smaller total. The Odisha bowlers applied pressure from their end, and at one point, it looked like they could cause an upset. However, the middle-order batsmen held their nerves and completed the chase in 41.3 overs.
Karnataka have added 6 massive points to their tally and are now placed in 4th position in Group A.