March 6, 2003

Karnataka batsmen extend domination of Kerala

Staff Reporter

After their bowlers did the trick on the first day, Karnataka's batsmen continued to grind Kerala mercilessly into the dust in their Ranji Trophy Plate Final encounter at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, on Wednesday.

Kerala could not make a breakthrough on the second morning until J Arunkumar and Barrington Rowland had added 68 more runs for the first wicket. Rowland was the first to fall, struggling to 22 off 94 balls and 153 minutes before becoming leggie KN Ananthapadmanabhan's first scalp of the day.

Karnataka then enjoyed a prosperous run, with Arunkumar and Sudhindra Shinde batting fluently at either end, putting together 55 runs for the second wicket. When Arunkumar fell as the second wicket after making 84 (174b, 12x4), Karnataka were 154 for two.

Shinde also made 84, off just 136 balls with 12 fours and a six, before he was dismissed by Ananthapadmanabhan, the only Kerala bowler who looked dangerous on the day. He had little support, however, and only M Suresh Kumar could back him up by taking a wicket - that of Deepak Chougule.

At stumps at the end of the second day, Karnataka were well-placed at 293 for five, with Sunil Joshi (0 not out) and Thilak Naidu (35 not out) at the crease. The hosts led by 103 runs with five wickets in hand, and for Kerala, Ananthapadmanabhan scalped four for 98 off 31 overs of leg-spin.