Ranji Trophy | Karnataka’s Padikkal and Pandey notch up centuries to drive home the advantage


Elegant: Padikkal brought up his third First Class hundred with a dominating knock of 193.

Elegant: Padikkal brought up his third First Class hundred with a dominating knock of 193.
| Photo Credit: Kiran Bakale

Karnataka drove home the advantage on day two of its Ranji Trophy encounter against Punjab, raking up a 309-run first-innings lead at the KSCA Rajnagar Stadium here on Saturday.

From an overnight 142 for three, Devdutt Padikkal and Manish Pandey all but batted the visitor out of the game, with their nascent 32-run association at stumps on day one swelling to a mammoth 234.

Of those, 152 runs came on the second morning at nearly five an over. Padikkal, starting on 80, coasted along merrily, bringing up his third First Class hundred (193, 216b, 24×4, 4×6) with a beautiful driven boundary past speedster Baltej Singh.

After reaching the three-figure mark, the 23-year-old Padikkal, who had until then played text-book cricket, turned expansive. Offie Naman Dhir was dispatched down the ground before part-time tweaker Abhishek Sharma was smashed for back-to-back maximums, over long-on and deep square-leg.

At the other end, Manish was let off on 22 when a mix-up between wicket-keeper Gitansh Khera and the first-slip fielder cost Baltej a wicket. The former Karnataka skipper capitalised by notching up his 24th First Class ton (118, 165b, 13×4, 3×6).

Class: Pandey was particularly aggressive against the spinners in his knock of 118.

Class: Pandey was particularly aggressive against the spinners in his knock of 118.
| Photo Credit:
Kiran Bakale

Initially, Manish was not at his usual free-stroking best, taking 89 balls to reach his fifty. The century, however, took just 53 more deliveries. Left-arm spinner Prerit Dutta and leggie Mayank Markande suffered the worst, being hit for a combined 64 runs from 62 balls. The six over Dutta‘s head to get to 99 was Manish’s stand-out shot.

Padikkal and Manish fell in the post-lunch session, with the former caught at deep mid-wicket off Dutta after his career-best knock and the latter at second slip off Arshdeep Singh. But Sharath Srinivas (55 batting, 158b, 5×4) and Shubhang Hegde (27, 77b, 2×4) — aided by some abysmal fielding — ensured that Punjab wouldn’t even have a foot in the door.

The scores:

Punjab – 1st innings: 152.

Karnataka – 1st innings: R. Samarth b Dutta 38, Mayank Agarwal c Dhir b Arshdeep 0, Devdutt Padikkal c Baltej b Dutta 193, Nikin Jose lbw b Dhir 8, Manish Pandey c Abhishek b Arshdeep 118, Sharath Srinivas (batting) 55, Shubhang Hegde c Mandeep b Dhir 27, V. Vyshak (batting) 15.

Extras (lb-6, nb-1): 7; Total (for six wkts. in 123 overs): 461.

Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-92, 3-110, 4-344, 5-382, 6-441.

Punjab bowling: Baltej 21-3-56-0, Arshdeep 21-1-71-2, Kaul 18-0-79-0, Dutta 22-1-84-2, Dhir 12-1-46-2, Markande 20-1-73-0, Abhishek 9-0-46-0.



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