Delhi batsmen gave a poor account of themselves as they were shot out for a paltry 202 in their first innings against table toppers Karnataka in the crucial final group A league encounter at the Feroze Shah Kotla in New Delhi on Monday.
Despite a blazing opening partnership of 51 runs in which Virender Sehwag,opening for the first time this season contributed 32,Delhi batsmen didn’t show the required patience to stay on a slow wicket.
Scoring wasn’t easy on the track where the odd ball was keeping low but most of the Delhi batsmen played bad shots to throw away their wickets. Skipper Gautam Gambhir (54) got set playing 111 deliveries before a poor shot selection brought about his downfall.
If one had expected rank turner,it wasn’t the case as Karnataka pacers led by their skipper R Vinay Kumar (4/40 in 13 overs) and his new ball partner HS Sharath (3/58 in 19.4 overs) shared bulk of the spoils.
Leggie Shreyash Gopal accounted for two wickets while Ronit More got the prize scalp of Sehwag.
It was Sehwag,who started attacking from the onset as he took apart Vinay with some cracking strokes. There were a few square cuts,a flick towards deep mid-wicket boundary and an off drive.
Delhi reached 50 in nine overs as Gambhir played the role of second fiddle.
However,after hitting five boundaries en route his 32,Ronit,who replaced Vinay,got one onto his body and Sehwag defended awkwardly. The resultant lob was taken by the bowler himself. Once Sehwag departed,the momentum was lost.
Milind Kumar (2),playing his first match of the season,played away from his body as he dragged a Vinay delivery back onto the stumps.
Mithun Manhas (12) started with a cover drive but was bowled by Vinay when he played forward to an incoming delivery which took the inside edge onto stumps.
At 84 for three,Manan Sharma joined Gambhir and the duo started batting freely. Left-hander Manan hit some impressive drives as he added 35 runs in the process.
But disaster struck in post lunch session when leggie Gopal got one to straighten after pitching which hit Manan plumb in front.
Gambhir,meanwhile,crafted his way to a half century but his habit of playing the dab shot towards third man brought about his downfall as Mayank Agarwal caught the edge at first slip on second attempt off a Sharath delivery. Gambhir hit six boundaries.
With half of the team gone for 136,it became difficult for Delhi to think of a big score. Rajat Bhatia (13) was bowled by Vinay when he tried to cut a delivery that knocked his leg stump.
It was Rahul Yadav (21) and Sumit Narwal (22) who chipped in with useful contributions to take Delhi past 200.
Narwal,in fact,hit back to back sixes off Gopal before he was trapped leg before trying to play fuller delivery from Vinay across the line.
Ashish Nehra again provided resistance for 26 balls before he became the fourth Delhi batsman to be played on as the innings ended in 67.4 overs.
Karnataka scored two for no loss in the one over that they played before bad light stopped the day’s play in which 19 overs were lost.