Bengaluru, March 18; Rest of India maged to eke out a slender 20-run first innings lead against Ranji Trophy champions Kartaka on the second day of the five-day Irani Cup match here on Wednesday to put the contest on a knife’s edge.
A battling 78 (106b, 13x4) by Maharashtra’s Kedar Jadhav held the Rest of India innings together as the visitors recovered from 102/5 to 264 all out in response to Kartaka’s 244.
In their second essay, the hosts were 39/0 at stumps with openers Ravikumar Samarth (21) and Mayank Agarwal (15) comfortably negotiating the fil hour to give Kartaka a lead of 19 runs.
The cornerstone of the Rest innings was the sixth-wicket partnership of 80 runs between Jadhav and Jayant Yadav (26) while for Kartaka skipper Viy Kumar, Abhimanyu Mithu and leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal came away with three wickets apiece.
Kartaka struck some telling blows in the first session with Viy Kumar dismissing opener Jiwanjot Singh (17) in the day’s second over as the batsman edged an intended glance to wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa.
Thereafter, Rest of India lost wickets at regular intervals with batsmen getting starts but uble to build on them. Paras Dogra (26), given out leg-before despite a big inside edge, man Ojha (34) and skipper Manoj Tiwary (14) departed without making much impression as Kartaka took control.
However, Jadhav and Yadav batted with determition to deny the hosts further success until well into the second session before Gopal struck a second time. Yadav inside-edged the ball on to his stumps and Rest of India were pinned on 182/6.
In the last over before tea, Mithun delivered a double blow by first tempting Rishi Dhawan (15) into a pull shot to be caught at square-leg and then knocking back Jadhav’s off-stump with a ball that kept low as Rest of India went into the break at 219/8, still 25 runs short of Kartaka’s first innings total.
The Rest of India tail-enders added some useful runs with Varun Aaron (25) ensuring a small first innings lead before being the last man out.
Brief scores: Kartaka 244 all out and 39/0 vs Rest of India 264 all out (Kedar Jadhav 78, man Ojha 34; Viy Kumar 3/76, Abhimanyu Mithun 3/46, Shreyas Gopal 3/51). (IANS)