Joshi leads from the front as Karnataka turn the tables on Assam
Indian left arm spinner Sunil Joshi (4 for 38) and seamer Dodda Ganesh (4 for 46) ran through the weak Assam batting line-up to help Karnataka to a seven wicket win on third day of the five day Ranji Trophy pre-quarterfinal at the Nehru stadium in Guwahati on Monday. Karnataka batsmen then accomplished the task in 35.2 overs while losing three wickets in the process.
Resuming at 310 for nine, Karnataka added just two more runs as Javed Zaman bowled NA Khan off the third ball of the day. With a lead of nine runs, Assam made a disastrous start in their second innings losing both openers PK Das (15) and SB Saikia (4) with the score reading 19 in the seventh over. Das was the first to be dismissed caught behind by VST Naidu off MA Khan, while Saikia was caught behind off Ganesh. Assam skipper Zakaria Zuffri (12) and S Ganesh Kumar (50) took the score to 46 before the former became Joshi's first victim when Anil Kumar caught him.
The next over, the 18th of the innings bowled by Ganesh, saw Assam suffer a double setback. Off the third ball of the over Ganesh sent back R Borah (0) and two balls later the former Tamil Nadu left arm spinner Sunil Subramaniam joined him in the pavilion. There was not much left for Assam after that even as Sukhvinder Singh (26) waged a lone battle. It was only a matter of time before the innings folded up and in the 39th over of the innings the inevitable happened.
Set to score 144 for a win, Karnataka made a shaky start when they lost opener J Arun Kumar (11), run out in the third over. His partner Mithun Beerala (14) followed in the 12th over with the score at 44. Beerala was caught by Ghosh off Ganesh Kumar. Then the former Indian batsman Vijay Bharadwaj (41) and B Akhil (51) took the score to 93. Bharadwaj was sent back at this stage, caught by Samant off Sukhvinder Singh. With only a handful of runs to get, Akhil and his skipper Joshi hit off the required runs with consummate ease.