Having conceded a lead of over 100 runs in their first innings, former Ranji champions Karnataka had their backs to the wall against a spirited onslaught from a relatively unfancied side like Odisha at the Airforce Sports Complex in Palam during their previous encounter.
However, Karnataka’s lower order staged dogged display with the bat on the third afternoon and in the first two sessions on the final day to negate Odisha the chance of pressing home a win.
Less than a week later, Vinay Kumar’s men find themselves in a similar predicament against bottom-placed Saurashtra who are gunning for a win after their spinners spun a web around their batsmen on the penultimate day’s play.
Saurashtra are already reeling after a humiliating loss to Vidarbha in their previous Ranji encounter, came up with a more spirited performance at Patiala.
Led by off-spinner Kamlesh Makvana and left-arm spinner Jay Chauhan, the duo took five wickets between them as the group toppers Karnataka ended the day with an overall lead of just nine runs in their second innings . On Wednesday, Saurashtra had already taken the first innings lead by reaching 297/6 in reply to Karnataka’s 200 all out. Today, they were bowled out for 359 with Karnataka left-arm spinner Abrar Kazi wiping out the lower order to finish with 4 for 83. Prerak Mankad, who had raised his maiden first-class century overnight, finished with 126.
Karnataka struggled early in their second innings, and were reduced to 27 for 2 in the eighth over before being lifted through a third-wicket stand of 110 between Kaunain Abbas and Manish Pandey. Their association ended with Pandey’s dismissal for 58.
Stuart Binny (6) and CM Gautam (0) were dismissed cheaply after that, but Abbas stayed not out on 62, and along with Shreyas Gopal (15 batting), ensured that there was further damage. The pair took Karnataka to 168 for 5 at stumps.
In the six games, Karnataka have registered four wins and two draws. Odisha had run them close in their previous encounter. But they barely managed to survive.
Karnataka: 200 & 168 for 5 in 60 overs (Kaunain Abbas 62 batting, Manish Pandey 58; Kamlesh Makvana 3/46);
Saurashtra: 359 all out in 115 overs (Prerak Mankad 126; Snell Patel 87; Vinay Kumar 4/54, Abrar Kazi 4/83).
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