Karnataka recover against Kerala
A stroke-filled 69 by opener J Arun Kumar and some timely rearguard action by the seventh wicket pair of B Akhil and D Ganesh helped Karnataka to score 231 for seven off 92 overs at stumps on the first day of their South Zone Ranji Trophy league match against Kerala at the Nehru stadium in Kochi on Wednesday.
Winning the toss, Karnataka lost Mithun Beerala (8) and Barrington Rowland (5) with only 49 runs on the board. Arun Kumar and Vijay Bharadwaj (18) initiated a recovery by adding 54 runs for the third wicket off 18.5 overs. Arun Kumar, who had dominated the scoring so far, left at this stage. He faced 129 balls and hit nine fours and a six.
Arun Kumar's departure triggered off a mini collapse. Bharadwaj who struggled for 89 balls to get 18 with only one boundary hit, was fourth out. He was followed by AR Mahesh (6) and wicketkeeper VST Naidu (23) and Karnataka were suddenly struggling at 144 for six. Akhil and Ganesh however performed the rescue act with a seventh wicket partnership of 74 runs off 23 overs. The stand ended when Ganesh was run out for 41. He faced 74 balls and hit five fours and a six. Akhil remained unbeaten with 45 at close, having faced 94 balls and hitting four of them to the ropes. Keeping him company was skipper Venkatesh Prasad (2).