Punjab v Karnataka, Ranji Trophy, semifinals, Mohali, 2nd day January 19, 2014

Vinay Kumar five-for derails Punjab

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Karnataka 39 for 2 trail Punjab 270 (Jiwanjot 74, Vinay 5-27, Shreyas 3-92) by 231 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Unlike Saturday morning which was chilly and overcast, the sun and clear blue skies made an appearance in Mohali on Sunday allowing a full day's play.

For the first half of the day, nearly everything went Punjab's way. Karnataka captain and senior bowler Vinay Kumar had to leave the field within 10 minutes of the start due to back spasms, leaving the visitors to rely on the dibbly-dobblies of Manish Pandey in the first hour itself. Jiwanjot Singh was caught dead in front while still on 0 but the umpire turned down the lbw appeal, and the in-form opener capitalised to make a brisk 74.

Punjab's most dangerous batsman, the out-of-form Yuvraj Singh, was cruising to his highest score of the season, taking the team along to 223 for 3. The early help for the seamers had vanished, Karnataka's part-time spinners weren't posing much of a threat and Punjab were zipping along at nearly four-and-a-half runs an over.

That was when occasional legspinner Amit Verma tossed up a high full toss which Yuvraj could have smashed anywhere he liked. Yuvraj picked out the man at deep midwicket, to be dismissed for 42 and a little over an hour later, Punjab had rolled over 270 - losing their final seven wickets for 47.

The collapse was masterminded by Vinay, who had returned to the field midway through the morning session after more than an hour out. Punjab's other remaining senior batsman, Mandeep Singh, was the first to go, trapped by a superb incutter. Two balls later, a plan worked perfectly as Vinay bowled a full ball on leg stump, only for Gitansh Khera to clip it to short midwicket, prompting a jubilant reaction from the fielder posted there for the shot. Gurkeerat Singh then nicked one to the keeper, Harbhajan Singh steered a catch to gully, and after a couple of big hits, Jaskaran Singh chipped a catch back to Vinay to complete the innings and a five-wicket haul.

In Vinay's absence, the Karnataka attack struggled to support the impressive but wicketless Abhimanyu Mithun, who hardly bowled any loose deliveries and tested the batsmen with well-directed bouncers. Ronit More, playing only his fifth first-class match, was profligate, gifting a boundary-ball nearly every over, to waste the new ball. After 10.5 overs he had been taken for 66 runs. Allrounder Shreyas Gopal also couldn't keep the runs down, bowling the regular hit-me delivery expected from every wristspinner bar the very best. His first 12 overs went for 75.

That contributed to Punjab's top order scoring freely, and Karnataka's decision to bowl on a track which was not particularly friendly to seamers, though it looked nearly as green as the outfield, seemed the wrong one. Opener Manan Vohra, recently in the headlines for having been retained by Kings XI Punjab, hit boundaries at will reaching a half-century at better than a run-a-ball. His opening partner Jiwanjot was a bit more sedate, but he too picked up the pace as the innings progressed.

Karnataka's early breakthroughs came more due to casual strokeplay from Punjab than from unplayable bowling. Vohra feathered through to the keeper when attempting an on-the-up drive, Jiwanjot looked to cut when the ball wasn't too far from the stumps and Taruwar Kohli punched a harmless delivery to short cover.

If Punjab were demoralised by the haste with which the middle order collapsed after that, it wasn't evident when they came out to bowl. Manpreet Gony, in particular, was hostile as Punjab's three quicks had the ball curling around and the flamboyant batsmen in Karnataka's top order were forced to be circumspect. The prolific KL Rahul fell in Gony's first over, and the usually aggressive Mayank Agarwal couldn't score for 22 deliveries before fatally flirting with a wide ball.

Robin Uthappa and Pandey knuckled down to grind out the final hour, as Karnataka progressed at well under two an over. They will have to do more of the same on Monday morning, if they are to challenge Punjab's first-innings total.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on January 21, 2014, 0:59 GMT

    agree with @Karunk its only pace that you need. you need to have the skill to tie-up opponent.

  • TNAmarkFromIndia on January 20, 2014, 15:17 GMT

    @Karunk Nice try. First you say faster bowlers concede more runs that medium pacers, then you admit that Vinay Kumar does indeed concede runs. Which one is it? The fact is Vinay Kumar is neither an economical bowler (like Bhuvneshwar) nor is he a strike bowler who takes wickets (like Shami). He's completely ineffective in ODIs and did poorly in the one Test he played.

  • vip.ap on January 20, 2014, 14:47 GMT

    Many comments are posted about Maharashtra not deserving a Final chance.

    I would like to ask the guys who think like this :

    1)Which team do you think did better than Maharashtra as a complete unit ?

    2)If you think think Group C teams shouldn't be given a chance for QF/SF/Finals then Indian Cricket will never grow as only Players from Group A Ranji teams will make it to Indian National team and players like Samad Fallah , Vijay Zol will always be ignored.

    3)If group C teams shouldn't get a chance then why even include them in Ranji Trophy matches ?

    Anyways you will see more of Maharashtra when we beat another Group A team at the finals , 5 of the top 15 Run getters this season are from Maharashtra. Our Bowling is decent. Fielding is decent, we even play as a good unit.

  • android_user on January 20, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    Enough said about Vinay Kumar. We want WICKET TAKING not WICKET WAITING. Let's face it - you either need to have movement / pace / bounce to take wickets. Although Aaron / Shami / Yadav go for runs, they always have an odd wicket taking delivery. Vinay Kumar is already defeated before he bowls a ball. No this has nothing to do with glamour.Agarkar would have never played if that was the case. Just bowing dibbly dobblies wicker to wicket is just not enough to TAKE WICKETS leave alone WAIT FOR WICKETS.

  • dummy4fb on January 20, 2014, 14:27 GMT

    vinay kumar represent karnataka to T20 worldcup definitly in idnian T20 team best of luck Vinay Kumar

  • cricfan99003396 on January 20, 2014, 14:18 GMT

    There have been many comments about Vinay's pace, selection & performance. The pitches in one day & T20 are prepared to entertain the crowd, making them batsmen friendly. Just the raw pace (140+) does not help. Need good variation on these kind of pitches. Shami got hit for 20 runs in the end overs yesterday. Anderson bowling at 130 was more effective and economical than Milne bowling at 150+. Our fast bowlers like Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav bowling at 140+ will concede more runs than BKumar VKumar bowling at 128K and also will take less wickets. Suggest the name of an Indian bowler who has not leaked runs in last 12 months. India cannot produce tear away fast bowlers. We have to accept & move forward with bowlers maintaining good line & length, having good variation & keep taking wickets. Yes! Vinay concedes runs. But who does not? Selectors keep going back to him because he keeps taking wickets. Opposite team keeps scoring 300+ runs irrespective of who is bowling at them....

  • PerfectTen on January 20, 2014, 14:14 GMT

    People who don't want Vinay back in the national reckoning are typically those who put glamour ahead of value to the team. They look for guys like Ishant, Yadav, Varun Aaron who have proved time and again that they can not sustain their performance levels for various reasons. Bollywood rules Indian cricket!!

  • dummy4fb on January 20, 2014, 13:04 GMT

    Come on guys at least let we learn a player performs, who is according to you all is best only when he bowls at 120-130, look at Umesh Yadav where he is already burnt or vanished, same is the case with Shammi you may expect him in Indian team for another one or two years, when Vinay is given too many chances what is different with Raina and Ashwin are they match winners now, our voice will not work out in selection it is entirely a different only some voice will be heard but not every voice, but one thing is sure if you want to be an permanent member irrespective of performance born in Mumbai like Rohit Sharma but not anywhere in South India whatever you perform it will be easily discarded

  • dummy4fb on January 20, 2014, 12:25 GMT

    was hoping to read a bit about Maharashtra match. Spare a thought for their collective performance. Kudos to Maharashtra. No real big name, but they come a long distance. The Maharashtra - Bengal match was neither was covered on television, nor got much coverage on cricinfo either.

  • android_user on January 20, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    man I don't want this guy again in Indian team... please selectors forget this match, this match never happened, and look beyond these.medium pacer who can't even touch 130kmph at regular basis... nor do these guys have extreme.swing.. I am from Karnataka but I.don't want any Karnataka bowler to be part of Indian team... there was time where 3 bowlers were from Karnataka, I wish we.produce some good leg spinner like kumble again... but one advice for selectors, consider a bowler who is capable of maintaining his pace on consistent basis... a bowler who can hit the deck hard and a bowler who comes to bowling with some intent.. there was pankaj Singh who is wasted playing ranjai all his life.. he has never dropped pace, infact he has increase it over the years.. please no bowler from south India... I can see none making it to Indian side...

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