A day after denying Karnataka a replacement for Manish Pandey, Maharashtra had a change of heart as David Mathias was allowed to bat on the second day of the Group B clash at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. Karnataka coach J Arunkumar confirmed that the team was allowed to choose anyone from the squad of 14, and that the decision to allow a replacement was made before the start of play.
Pandey was pulled out of Karnataka's squad after he was called up to replace the injured Ajinkya Rahane in India's Test squad in Mumbai. Following the late change, Karnataka had approached match referee Pranab Roy for a replacement only for their request to be turned down by Maharashtra captain Swapnil Gugale.
Mathias came out at No. 7, after the fall of Pavan Deshpande with Karnataka on 251 for 5. Mathias hung around for just 23 balls and scored 6 before being trapped lbw by medium-pacer Nikit Dhumal. But by then, Karnataka were already well ahead, leading Maharashtra by 101 runs in the first innings.
Karnataka had begun the day on 67 for 1 in response to Maharashtra's 163, faced with the prospect of playing with 10 batsmen. The rules state that a replacement can be drafted in only with the consent of the opposing captain, although Karnataka would have been allowed a substitute while fielding. Gugale pointed out the importance of the game for Maharashtra when asked about the reason for turning down the request on Wednesday.
Karnataka are already through to the knockouts, while Maharashtra are vying for the final qualification spot with Odisha and Delhi.