Karnataka v Maharashtra, Ranji Trophy final, Hyderabad, 2nd day January 30, 2014

Satish, Rahul put Karnataka on top

The Report by Karthik Krishnaswamy in Hyderabad

Karnataka 230 for 0 (Satish 117*, Rahul 94*) trail Maharashtra 305 (Bawne 89, Khurana 64, Mithun 3-49, Aravind 3-65) by 75 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

In the third over of Karnataka's innings, Samad Fallah angled a full delivery across KL Rahul. The batsman threw his hands at the ball, which sliced off the face of his bat to the right of gully. Diving full stretch, Harshad Khadiwale got one hand to the ball but could not cling on. It was a difficult chance.

Six overs later, Rohit Motwani, the Maharashtra wicketkeeper, could not quite use the same defence, when he dived a smaller distance to his right and spilled an edge from Ganesh Satish, off Fallah again. In the very next over, Rahul, batting on 12, drove early at Anupam Sanklecha; the bowler stuck a hand out in his follow-through, but the ball didn't stick.

At this point, Karnataka were 32 for 0. Robin Uthappa had retired hurt in the fifth over of the innings, after a Fallah incutter had struck a jarring blow on his left elbow. A wicket, to go with that incident, could have left them in a wobbly position. Karnataka had given Maharashtra three opportunities to take that wicket. Maharashtra had grabbed none of them.

Rahul ended the day unbeaten on 94. Satish, returning to the side after sitting out his team's last four matches, was with him on 117. Karnataka were 230 for no loss, and needed 76 to take the first-innings lead.   

Along the way, Maharashtra dropped two more catches. At 172 for 0, Sangram Atitkar juggled a sitter at midwicket to let Satish off on 89, off Sanklecha's bowling. In his next over, Sanklecha dropped his second return catch of the day, a simpler, two-handed effort, when Rahul was on 74.

All this happened after a first hour that had seen Maharashtra lose their last five wickets while adding just 33 to their overnight score of 272. Abhimanyu Mithun set the tone with his first ball of the morning. Going wide of the crease, he surprised Ankit Bawne, facing his first ball of the day, with the angle and, judging by how late his bat came down, a bit of extra pace. Bawne had held the innings together, and had held Maharashtra's hopes of a big total. He was gone for 89.

From that point, Karnataka's seamers ran through Maharashtra's lower order. It helped that they were bowling to Nos. 8, 9, 10 and 11 with a more or less brand-new ball. Most of Maharashtra's top six had given their wickets away on the first day.

Rahul and Satish proved just as careless. But the largesse of Maharashtra's fielders, and a pitch that eased out completely after lunch, left them with no option but to put on a massive partnership. The strokes began to flow. Rahul leaned into cover drives and rolled his wrists over pulls. Satish targeted the areas behind square with cuts, glances and glides.

After tea, both batsmen attacked the spinners. Satish late cut left-arm spinner Akshay Darekar, and hit him twice over mid-on, to go from 62 to 74. In the next over, Rahul launched offspinner Chirag Khurana for a big six over long-on.

Maharashtra went on the defensive. They packed the off-side field, and bowled wide of the stumps. This strategy, however, wasn't designed for Atitkar's hopeful slow medium. 

Rahul, eyeing the empty spaces on the leg side, paddled him for four from way outside off stump; his team-mates yelled loudly at him to stop playing such shots. Satish simply found the off-side gaps. He drilled Atitkar between mid-off and extra cover, late cut him to the left of point to bring up his century, and slapped one to point's right three balls later.  

Late in the day, an offbreak from Khurana turned, beat Rahul's attempted cover drive, and ran away for four byes past the stationary Motwani. "Don't worry!" yelled a Karnataka fan armed with a massive red and yellow flag. "The keeper won't catch it."

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 31, 2014, 14:00 GMT

    Determination to make a difference has distinguished this Karnataka team. Extremely mature and professional performance so far this final. I would like to see more articles on Karnataka players. The bowlers have done extremely well over the last five years as others have mentioned without any media attention

  • Android on January 31, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    Robin this season played 5 maches only look at his score..88..33 . 0 .100..47..74..almost 330 runs in 5 mach 48.run avereage and befire 108 i nz a..so selctore see ths talent still he is 27 age give the chance to odi ..now days shikardhwan plop show bring robin on that place rohith also plop bt he is bombay so he will nt drop ...justifice the talent..karnataka win the ranji trophy ..this team will irani trophy also

  • Android on January 31, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    200 runs lead safer side karnataka final day 150 targett comes very tuff f final day

  • Android on January 31, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    super batting rahul sathish even uttappa also 73 is good score in final selctore give chance to robin he is good realy good now he is ready to play austrelian condition all redy he played before ...so after injuree 100..47..74...good knocks in preshure times

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2014, 20:31 GMT

    I must say that JAK & MAK made a big impact this season. Both of them involved in Ranji Finals before. Their decision to bring on Amit Verma for SF was a master stroke. Bringing Shreyas Gopal a debutant against Mumbai was another bold decision. For finals, dropping Mayank Agarwal and bringing in Ganesh Satish was a very good decision as he had a prior experience of playing in Ranji Final (He played very good inninings in that final too) and dropping More and playing Aravind proved very vital in this match. So, both JAK & MAK should get if not more equal credit as players for making right horses for courses decision. Fantastic !!! Hope Karnatka retain these 2 guys as coaches for next few seasons and don't lose them out like Sanath Kumar & Venkatesh Prasad.

  • Ashwin on January 30, 2014, 19:10 GMT

    Timekiller is correct......y should one compare group C players' records with the toughest group?

  • Ashwin on January 30, 2014, 19:06 GMT

    The fact that A group topper with consecutive clear wins....means it was far ahead in the difficult group itself and Group C team was no match.......450+ runs without losing wicket combined semis and finals should have been mentioned in the article

  • sid on January 30, 2014, 18:45 GMT

    If you see individual Ranji player stats, you may not see many karnataka players in the top 10. This is because it is too easy to accumulate runs/wickets in group C. Take out Group C players and you will see many karnataka players in the top 10. Another reason being incredible bench strength Karnataka team has and the resulting player rotation (i.e. not everyone gets to play all the matches). Also due to the presence of several good players in the team, one bowler does not get to take all the wickets, non-opening batsmen do not get to bat in every innings.

  • sid on January 30, 2014, 18:43 GMT

    Today's performance is a great achievement by Karnataka Cricket. This being the Ranji Final, one would have hoped for a larger for the Karnataka players as well in Cricinfo (not just MH players). Please give some credit to the Karnataka batsmen for not losing a wicket and scoring 450 runs (combined with semi final performance against Punjab). Karnataka seamers (all six of them) have been bowling extremely well this year. Why is it not being acknowledged? In fact, Karnataka seamers have been bowling better than any other Ranji team in the past 5 years. They didn't win in the semi/quarter/final in previous years because they were made to play on rank turners unfit for competitive cricket. This year luckily BCCI enforced some pitch rules and results are there for everyone to see.

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2014, 17:18 GMT

    As much as Mah wud like to win after decades, Kar (Us) too wanna win after almost a decade and half. Match still wide open. Kar hv 2 bat out the 1st session w/o losing a wicket, tmw. From there session by session. We will bat 4th. Only the 2nd day is out. Mah are still in the game. Great game on the cards!!!

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