Gautam and Vinay leave Rest reeling
Rest of India 201 and 114 for 3 (Jadhav 44, Aparajith 42*, Vinay 2-27) trail Karnataka 606 (Binny 122, Gautam 122, Pankaj 6-122) by 291 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Karnataka dominated another day of the domestic season with both bat and ball, this time against Rest of India, on their home ground. Rest of India were left reeling after CM Gautam's hundred stretched Karnataka's first-innings lead to 405, after which Vinay Kumar's early strikes kept them to 114 for 3 at the end of the day.
Resuming on their overnight score 390 for 5, Karnataka lost centurion Stuart Binny in the third over of the day when he inside-edged a delivery from Pankaj Singh onto his stumps for a run-a-ball 122. But Gautam, who was on 6 off 29 at the start of the day, picked up the pace of the innings by attacking Anureet Singh early on and the spinners later, mostly behind square on both sides of the wicket. Vinay also joined him to punish Pankaj at the other end, leaving ROI clueless. While Vinay fell for a useful 34, Gautam continued unflustered by using his feet against Mishra, reverse-sweeping the two spinners and part-timer B Aparajith to cross his fifty.
Gautam was extremely lucky to survive an lbw decision on 94 when he was struck in front of middle stump, beaten by pace by a seam-up delivery from Amit Mishra. The umpire moved only to signal leg-byes which befuddled the legspinner and Gautam completed the run with a huge smile. He slowed down a little in the 90s, but reached the landmark in the last over before lunch with a cover drive for his second hundred of what has been a relatively dry season for him.
Karnataka lost Shreyas Gopal to Pankaj after lunch - by which time their lead had neared 350 - and Abhimanyu Mithun exposed Ashok Dinda's weakness of swaying too much on the leg side. He struck two blows in the third over after lunch and, after another three overs, clobbered a six and two more fours to the midwicket boundary. Dinda leaked 18 runs in the over including four leg-byes.
Pankaj, however, continued to toil at the other end and had Gautam caught at square-leg for 122 after being hit for two consecutive fours. Two balls later, he yorked HS Sharath to end with six wickets, his fourth five-for of the season, and completed 300 first-class wickets. Karnataka finished at 606, their highest score of the season.
Vinay unsettled and packed off ROI's openers again. He started with his usual outswing and was firmly driven through the covers by Gautam Gambhir in his second over. However, the bowler struck on the next ball - he pitched one slightly shorter, Gambhir nudged and Manish Pandey took a terrific catch at second slip. Three overs later, Vinay surprised Jiwanjot Singh by bringing one into him as he tried to defend, but the batsman was trapped lbw for the second time in the match.
Kedar Jadhav and Aparajith cautiously defended and found gaps occasionally against Vinay and Mithun to avoid what could have been another collapse. Aparajith was the more patient of the two, leaving plenty outside off and scoring when he was offered width. He saw through a testing spell from Sharath whose nipping line outside off and late swing tested both batsmen. Aparajith faced 18 deliveries, all dots, off Sharath's first spell with figures of 5-4-5-0.
Jadhav was also calm in the beginning, taking his time to settle down, but opened up later. He used his bat much more than Aparajith and picked up the pace of his innings when Gopal came into the attack. The legpsinner was greeted with three fours in his first over, all on the leg side, as he bowled either too full or too short.
But when it looked like the partnership of 69 would see ROI through to stumps, with a little more than half an hour left, Jadhav targeted Gopal again and, wanting to clear mid-off, handed a catch to Pandey after coming down the track. He was out for 44.
An experienced Dinesh Karthik joined Aparajith and didn't take any chances. Known to play attacking shots, he faced 29 dot balls out of the 37 and was unbeaten on 9. The last passage of play wasn't without drama. With six minutes left for stumps, Robin Uthappa bowled the second-last over of the day and gave ROI a scare when he struck Karthik in front of leg stump with a loud lbw appeal but the ball had swung too much and was going down leg.
Vishal Dikshit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo