Saturday, December 29, 2007

Innings defeat staring at State

December 28, 2007 Maharashtra Herald

Suhrid Barua

RATNAGIRI: Winning matches is all about creating opportunities and grabbing them. Maharashtra team would have every reason to believe that they had their opportunities to land the knockout punch at Karnataka at least on two occasions.
First, when the State side were cruising along in their first essay at 210 for 3 before a dramatic collapse saw them fold up for 276. Second, when they had pushed Karnataka into troubled waters at 212 for 5 with 64 runs still required to overhaul State’s first innings score and five wickets remaining.
Clearly, State could have turned the tables on their opponents then. But it is a different matter altogether that Maharashtra failed to make the most of them and by the end of the penultimate day’s play, were fighting to avoid defeat in their Ranji Trophy Super League match at the Chatrapti Shivaji Stadium here on Thursday.
Riding on two stroke-filled tons by skipper Yere Goud and Bharat Chipli, followed by a sensational hat trick by seamer R Vinay Kumar, Karnataka now hold the aces.
The visitors piled on a mammoth score of 545 for 9 declared and buoyed by the 269-run first innings lead, their bowlers bowled with lot of fire and reduced hosts to 18 for 3 in their second dig at stumps. The hosts still trail by 251 runs.
Resuming at 239 for 5, Thilak Naidu and Yere Goud steered their side past Maharashtra’s score of 276. Once they did that, they treated the State bowlers with disdain. Goud played an innings blended with aggression and stout defense. He received solid support from another seasoned player, Thilak Naidu as they stroked the hapless Maharastra attack to all parts of the ground.
They stitched 120-runs for the sixth wicket before Naidu returned to the pavilion. His dismissal was the only breakthrough for State in the pre-lunch session.
Naidu was lulled into indiscretion by Venugopal Rao as the latter was pouched by the State skipper off his own bowling for a well-made 58.
At 332 for 6, Karnataka were in the comfort zone. Goud joined forces with Chipli and the pair continued to compound the woes of Maharashtra with a 135-run seventh wicket partnership that left State bowlers frustrated.
Goud’s hundred came from 205 balls and was studded with 17 boundaries. Once he fell to Takawale, Chipli carried on the run-fest, milking the State bowlers at will. Sensing that he may just run out of partners after inching closer to his hundred, Chipli decided to throw caution to the wind and belted three sixes and downplayed the importance of nervous 90s as he literally raced through them.
Maharashtra openers -Harshad Khadiwale and Ankit Bawne had hardly got their eye in when Vinay Kumar wreaked havoc with a stirring hat trick. He castled Ankit when the latter offered no shot to a delivery that nipped back. Nightwatchman Ajinkya Joshi was yorked off the next ball before the seamer returned in his fifth over to complete the hat trick when he trapped Ameya Shrikhande lbw to infuse excitement towards the fag end of play.
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