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2nd Semi-Final, Bengaluru, January 03 - 06, 2010, Ranji Trophy Super League
575/7d & 247/8d
(T:615) 208 & 22/1

Match drawn (Karnataka won on 1st innings)


Dominant Dravid ensures Karnataka hold all aces

Karnataka's success so far this season has been based on the blossoming of young talent but it was one of the most experienced players in world cricket, Rahul Dravid, who drove them to a dominant position

Uttar Pradesh 11 for 2 trail Karnataka 575 for 7 dec (Dravid 209*, Pandey 66, Pawan 52) by 564 runs
Karnataka's success so far this season has been based on the blossoming of young talent but it was one of the most experienced players in world cricket, Rahul Dravid, who drove them to a dominant position at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday. His fifth Ranji double-century flattened Uttar Pradesh and left them needing a monumental batting effort to make their third consecutive final.
UP were shaken further during the seven overs they had to play out before stumps once Dravid declared soon after reaching his 200. Opener Tanmay Srivastava punched a couple of boundaries in the first over, but it was a nervy period after that, with fast bowler Abhimanyu Mithun's pace causing the visitors problems. Shivkant Shukla was run out by a direct hit from Amit Verma at square leg after the batsmen hesitated before going for a sharp single. Then, nightwatchman Bhuvneshwar Kumar lasted all of one ball, trapped lbw by Mithun and UP hobbled to 11 for 2 by the end of the day.
That batting effort came after a sapping 176 overs bowling on an unresponsive track, with nothing in it for either the quicks or the spinners; UP tried out as many as nine bowlers as they desperately searched for wickets through the day. Even early in the morning, with a ball that was only a handful of overs old, Praveen Kumar's deliveries were reaching the wicketkeeper on the second bounce. There had been some slow turn on offer for Piyush Chawla on the first day, but even that was not in evidence on Monday.
It was Dravid who was the headline act, though, and he had a solid support cast backing him up - involved in four century partnerships. His effort was also an object lesson for the home side's youngsters in making the most after getting a start - all the other Karnataka batsmen, except the nightwatchman, made it to the 30s but didn't reach 70.
There was an air of inevitability about a big score from Dravid. He had been extremely patient on Sunday, and was in no hurry as well at the start of the second day as well, watchfully playing out the morning spells of Praveen and RP Singh.
Once the slow bowlers were brought on, both he and left-hand batsman Amit Verma opened out. Verma made room and crashed left-arm spinner Praveen Gupta through covers and followed up with a clever glide past the keeper. In the next over, Dravid whipped Chawla through midwicket before striking a classical on-drive to a flighted delivery. The run-rate remained sprightly all day after that.
About 10 minutes before lunch, the pair raised their century stand, but Verma was stumped giving the charge to Chalwa off the next delivery. Chawla bowled round the wicket and into the pads in an attempt to slow the runs, Dravid responded with whips through midwicket and leg glances, one of which brought up his century; his first fifty had taken 146 balls, the second 63.
UP tried to snare the new batsman, CM Gautam, by keeping three slips and making RP bowl well outside off. The ploy would have worked too, had it not been for Mohammad Kaif grassing a simple catch at second slip with Gautam on 13. After that, it was another period of toil, as Gautam and Dravid effortlessly picked off the runs. Again the wicket came soon after the hundred partnership and not too far from an interval - Gautam bowled by Praveen Gupta attempting an ambitious lofted on-drive.
That brought together the most experienced players in the match, Dravid and Sunil Joshi, who hurt UP further with yet another century stand, 101 runs in only 138 deliveries. Dravid combined paddle-sweeps with powerful aerial drives while Joshi blasted the game's first six, straight over the sightscreen to keep Karnataka accelerating. Even the third new ball, taken after 172 overs, didn't rein in the batsmen, who also capitalised on UP's falling fielding standards.
To top off a thoroughly dispiriting day for UP, their captain Mohammad Kaif became the latest bowler to be no-balled for a suspect action, when he came on for a two-over spell an hour after lunch.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo

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