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UP stays afloat as Srivastava, Kaif score centuries

Principal Correspondent

— Photo: Sampath Kumar

A JOB WELL DONE: Mohammed Kaif (left) and Tanmay Srivastava ensured that Uttar Pradesh was still in with a shot at the first-innings lead against Karnataka.

Bangalore: Opener Tanmay Srivastava and skipper Mohammad Kaif scored patient centuries to help Uttar Pradesh stay afloat against Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy super league Group B match in progress at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Sunday. At close on the third day, Srivastava (154 batting) and Kaif (103 batting) helped Uttar Pradesh score 295 for two in reply to Karnataka’s 511.

The visitor needs another 217 runs on the final day to secure the first innings honours.

Resuming at 44 for one, Uttar Pradesh lost Suresh Raina in the day’s third over as seamer N.C. Aiyappa dug one in short and surprised the southpaw. At 53 for two, Srivastava and Kaif settled into rhythm as they played the waiting-game but also punishing the loose deliveries; the run-rate through the day remained at 2.75 per over.

Southpaw Srivastava (300b, 20x4) picked his runs on the off-side with a bouquet of drives while also essaying the sweep and the pull. Kaif (286b, 14x4) was tentative in the beginning and a few inner edges missed the stumps but once he settled into his groove, his drives were assured as Vinay Kumar and Aiyappa suffered briefly. Srivastava and Kaif were always alert to the quick single and relished their stint on a featherbed.

Karnataka skipper Robin Uthappa rotated his bowlers, even bowled a few overs himself but there was no respite from the leather-hunt. Srivastava, even after notching up his hundred, stayed resolute in his safe methods and added a dash of style with a square-drive off Vinay.

Kaif meanwhile enjoyed a slice of luck as he lofted off-spinner C. Raghu and watched substitute Ganesh Satish drop the sharp chance at mid-off. Kaif, then on 76, hastened towards his hundred with a clutch of fours against the new ball and cover-drove Aiyappa to signal his hundred.

The scores:

Karnataka — Ist innings: 511 in 168.5 overs.

Uttar Pradesh — Ist innings: T. Srivasthava (batting) 154, S. Shukla c&b Aiyappa 1, S. Raina c Raju b Aiyappa 17, Md. Kaif (batting) 103, Extras (b-17, lb-2, nb-1) 20; Total (for two in 108 overs) 295.

Fall of wickets: 1-22, 2-53.

Karnataka bowling: Vinay 24-7-59-0, Akhil 7-2-22-0, Aiyappa 21-7-62-2, Raju 16-2-52-0, Joshi 30-4-59-0, Raghu 9-1-19-0, Uthappa 1-0-3-0.

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