Karnataka v Jammu & Kashmir, Group A, 1st day, Hubli January 5, 2015

Karnataka wobble after restricting J&K to 160

Karnataka 123 for 5 (Uthappa 37*, Pandey 33, Mudhasir 3-29) trail Jammu & Kashmir 160 (Rasool 39, Vinay 4-37, Binny 3-37) by 37 runs
Scorecard

On a greenish pitch that offered bounce and seam movement throughout the day's play, Karnataka's top order continued its poor start to the season, but not before their seamers had bowled Jammu & Kashmir out for 160. Fifteen wickets fell on the first day in Hubli, including nine in the middle session. 

There is still a long way to go in the match, but for now J&K's lower-order collapse - their last seven wickets fell for 38 runs - seemed like the defining period of play.

In Karnataka's three first innings before this, CM Gautam had walked in with the score reading 97 for 5, 69 for 5 and 153 for 5. Here they were 83 for 5 before Gautam and Robin Uthappa steadied their innings with an unbroken stand of 40. Karnataka trailed by 37 at stumps.  

With Uthappa having gone off the field for 10 minutes during J&K's innings, it was Karun Nair who walked out to bat alongside Mayank Agarwal. Neither has had a productive season so far, and Ram Dayal dismissed both in the five overs that remained before tea. Nair was bowled playing across the line, Agarwal hung his bat outside off stump and edged to slip.

Manish Pandey struck four sweetly-driven fours in a partnership of 53 with Kunal Kapoor before Mohammed Mudhasir found his edge with one that reared at him from a good length in the corridor. Kapoor, who had till then looked untroubled, looked to pull a short ball and ended up gloving a low catch to the left of the keeper. Mudhasir then angled a full ball into the stumps to trap Stuart Binny mid-shuffle. Twelve wickets had fallen in the last 35.3 overs.

Batting hadn't looked anywhere near as difficult at the start of the day's play, after Karnataka sent J&K in. Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun bowled a touch too straight in their first spells, and provided the openers a steady trickle of leg-side ones and twos. Neither Adil Reshi nor Obaid Haroon were really tested outside the off stump until Karnataka changed tack in the 10th over.

Left-arm pacer S Aravind replaced Mithun at one end and Vinay went round the wicket at the other. The angle across the right-handed batsmen brought almost immediate reward. Reshi prodded at Vinay and edged a catch to the keeper in the 13th over, and seven balls later Haroon drove away from his body at Aravind and nicked to second slip.

The runs dried up, and another wicket looked imminent as Vinay, back to bowling over the wicket, beat Aditya Singh repeatedly in the corridor. His struggles didn't end even when Vinay took himself off, as Stuart Binny attacked his front pad, thrusting halfway forward and planting itself in front of the stumps. Ian Dev Singh provided the only moments of release in a pressure-soaked half hour, driving Binny on the up through extra cover and skipping down the pitch to launch legspinner Shreyas Gopal over long-on and beyond the press tent. The Aditya-Ian Dev partnership added 27 in 14 overs before Binny dismissed Aditya for a 43-ball 3, finding a bit of in-dip to hit his front pad in front of middle and off.

With half an hour to go for lunch, Parvez Rasool went after the bowling, standing up and waiting for balls to slash or pull. He edged a couple of balls through the slip cordon, but was otherwise in control - while never looking entirely convincing with his methods - as he struck eight fours before lunch while racing to 35 off 25 balls.

It was J&K's best passage of play, and it ended in the fifth over after lunch, when Mithun moved one back in off the pitch to strike Ian Dev's front pad halfway through his stride. In his next over, he speared one in even fuller and pinned Rasool to the crease. From that point on, there was barely any resistance; Karnataka's four seamers simply landed it in the corridor and waited for the batsmen to feel for the ball. They kept poking, and four of the last five wickets fell to catches by Gautam behind the stumps or by Manish Pandey at second slip.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments