Abhimanyu Mithun was good enough to nick it. Ishant Sharma’s delivery reared from good length and the Karnataka night-watchman had a tail-ender’s poke to keeper Rishabh Pant. The ball could have gotten any Test batsman out, let alone Mithun. It was Ishant’s first over of the day and he made an early promise.
But lacking match fitness, the Delhi and India fast bowler faded quickly. To be fair, he bowled well within himself and was a lot tighter than the first day. During his final spell on Day Two, he, however, looked a little jaded as Karnataka rattled off 414 in their first innings. The Kolkata heat and humidity might be the reasons. He was even warned by umpire N Patwardhan for running on the pitch.
Delhi have been chasing the game since they were bundled out for 90 in their first innings on Thursday. The Eden Gardens pitch became slower today and stand-in Karnataka skipper Karun Nair and Kaunain Abbas took the opportunity to wear down the opposition. They put on 89 for the fifth wicket to slam the door shut on Delhi. Nair was excellent to watch; the time he had to play every ball. But he hit a lofted drive straight to left-arm spinner Varun Sood, who took an excellent return catch. Nair was out for 53 and he should consider this as a wasted chance to go big. Abbas is only into his second first-class game. He had made 55 and 51 not out in Karnataka’s Ranji Trophy opener against Jharkhand. Here, he was out leg before on 52, when a Sood delivery came in with the arm. He had been reaping rewards for his bowling discipline. He ended the day with 4/80 in 30.3 overs as Karnataka secured a 324-run lead which has set the platform for a bonus-point win.
Karnataka strengthened their hold in the second session with CM Gautam and Shreyas Gopal putting on 77 runs for the eighth wicket. Gautam remained unbeaten on 63. “It was a kind of up and down wicket and it’s tough to get runs here. We had to really apply ourselves. There was some movement for the pacers and later on, especially the (second) new ball, which was zipping a bit. There was a bit of turn too,” he said after the day’s play.
Brief scores: Delhi 90 all out vs Karnataka 414 all out (CM Gautam 63*, K Nair 53; V Sood 4/80, Vikas Tokas 3/81).