Binny century flattens Rest of India
Karnataka 390 for 5 (Binny 115*, Nair 92, Satish 84) lead Rest of India 201 by 189 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
A scintillating hundred from Stuart Binny powered Karnataka to a massive 189-run lead on the second day against Rest of India. Karnataka were expected to take the lead after dismissing ROI for 201, which they did, and Binny pummelled the ROI bowlers as the hosts scored 365 runs in 84 overs. All the Karnataka batsmen got starts, and fifties from Ganesh Satish and Karun Nair ensured Binny came out to bat at a comfortable 188 for 4.
Binny showered boundaries without breaks and all around the park till the end of the day, scoring at over a run-a-ball against all the bowlers barring Ashok Dinda and Harbhajan Singh.
Resuming on 35 for 1, Satish and KL Rahul started confidently, negotiating the consistent line outside off from Pankaj Singh and Ashok Dinda with solid technique. Rahul got into gear with an exquisite cover drive for four in the first over, while Satish mainly targeted the area around gully and point. In the fifth over of the day, he brought up the team's fifty with a four down the ground and followed it up with two more off the next two balls, guiding one past second slip and working one off the hips when Dinda pitched short.
After Satish produced two more fours three overs later, this time off Pankaj, Rest of India captain Harbhajan Singh made a bowling change, bringing on Anureet Singh for Dinda. Anureet struck immediately with an incoming delivery that kept very low and rattled the stumps through Rahul's defence.
Manish Pandey showed his intent early in his innings when he charged down the pitch and hit Anureet for two consecutive fours in his next over. He scored briskly with regular boundaries until Pankaj produced a terrific spell out of nowhere just before lunch. He pitched one on middle stump and got considerable outswing from the 38-over-old ball for an edge that Dinesh Karthik pouched with one hand after diving to his right. But Satish had completed his fifty by then and Karnataka had reduced the deficit to under 50.
Karnataka slowed down for over an hour after lunch when Harbhajan and Anureet resumed and conceded only 29 runs in 15 overs. The last over of that period produced a wicket. First, Harbhajan's incisive length produced an outside edge from Satish that fell just short of Gautam Gambhir at first slip. Next ball, the offspinner sent Satish back, having him caught by stand-in wicketkeeper Kedar Jadhav, even though the decision left the batsman unhappy. Satish's wicket was the first taken by a spinner in the match.
Binny's entry changed a couple of gears for Karnataka. He struck two fours off Dinda two overs after he came in, and, with Nair, forced a bowling change by smashing 22 runs from Harbhajan's next two.
But Amit Mishra was welcomed the way the captain was seen off the attack - with a massive six over long-off from Binny. He was cruising on 29 off 27 with three fours and two sixes, and he marched into the 40s with 13 more runs off Mishra in the same spell.
Binny had nearly overtaken a patient Nair before the latter unleashed three fours in one over to complete his fifty and a dejected Harbhajan walked back to his dressing room for tea after leaking 14 runs in that over. Karnataka's change of pace and plan was apparent as the partnership had piled on 91 runs from a mere 13.3 overs, at nearly seven an over.
The approach did not change in the last session, and Binny smashed Mishra for two more fours in the first over after tea, reaching his fifty with the second. It had taken him just 45 balls. Harbhajan asked for the second new ball as soon as it was available, and brought on his best bowler, Pankaj, but he wasn't spared either, paying the price for offering room to Binny. Anureet tried to vary the length in the next over but he was cut and hooked for a four and six, with which Binny overtook his partner. Bowlers changed, the ball changed, lines and lengths changed, field placements changed, but the batsmen and the results remained the same.
The new ball also had been smashed around so much that Harbhajan, at one point, wanted it changed, but the umpires did not agree. Binny brought up his eighth first-class hundred off 82 balls, improving on the 88-ball century he had scored against Gujarat at the same ground during the Ranji Trophy.
Things slowed down a bit towards the end of the day and Nair, who had also moved towards his hundred, lost his stumps when he was a bit late leaving a delivery from Pankaj outside off, the extra bounce finding his inside edge and sending him back for 92. The stand between Nair and Binny had doubled the score in less than 30 overs.
Binny and CM Gautam saw the remaining 7.2 overs through as Karnataka ended the day on 390 for 5.
Vishal Dikshit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo