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Karnataka drive home advantage in Irani Cup

Posted on Feb 11 2014 | IANS

Bangalore, Feb 11 : Having taken a massive 405-run first innings lead, Ranji Trophy champions Karnataka had Rest of India on the mat at stumps on the third day of their five-day Iran Cup match here Tuesday.

At close of play, Rest of India were 114 for three in their second essay after Karnataka, resuming at their overnight total of 390 for five, were all out for 606 with Chidambaram Gautam helping himself to a century (122, 168b, 17x4, 1x6).

The only bright spot for Rest of India was 28-year-old UP-born Rajasthan seamer Pankaj Singh who came away with six for 122. In the process, he reached a personal milestone of 300 first class wickets in his 77th game.

Rest of India's second innings was off to a shaky start as Vinay Kumar, who had taken six wickets in the first essay, continued to torment as the Karnataka skipper removed both openers, Gautam Gambhir (11) who was caught in the slip cordon and Jiwanjot Singh, again trapped in front as the visitors slipped to 20 for two.

However, young Baba Aparajith (42 batting) and Kedar Jadhav (44) put on 71 for the third wicket before the latter was caught in the deep trying to hoist leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal. Thereafter, Aparajith and Dinesh Karthik (9 batting) managed to play on to close without further mishaps.

Earlier, Karnataka did not take their foot off the pedal in the morning as their batsmen continued to plunder a hapless Rest of India attack. Though overnight not out batsman Stuart Binny added only seven runs before being dismissed for 122, inside edging Pankaj Singh, Gautam, in the company of tail-enders, helped Karnataka to secure virtually a match-winning total.

Gautam batted fluently while notching his second century of the season and was rarely in any discomfort as the Rest bowlers continued to be punished. Only Pankaj Singh, though erring in length on occasions, evoked some respect.

Gautam added 88 runs for the seventh wicket with Vinay Kumar (31), 57 for the eighth with young Shreyas Gopal (16) and 61 for the ninth with Abhimanyu Mithun (34 not out) before Pankaj Singh wrapped up the innings.

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