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Pandey-Gautam in rescue act

Special Correspondent

— Photo: G.P. Sampath Kumar

FINE KNOCK:C.M. Gautam's unbeaten century and his 294-run unfinished partnership with Manish Pandey put Karnataka in command.

Bangalore: The Karnataka first innings was played in two parts as the top-order remained edgy but the resultant cracks were papered over with finesse thanks to the flair and confidence displayed by centurions Manish Pandey and C.M. Gautam.

The duo's unbroken 294-run partnership for the sixth wicket revived Karnataka from a precarious 54 for five and helped the host finish with 348 for five when bad light curtailed play on the second day of the Ranji Trophy super league Group B match against Orissa at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday.

Unbeaten centuries

Pandey and Gautam remained unbeaten on 144 each and gifted joy to their nervous teammates. Things were not rosy though when play commenced while Robin Uthappa and skipper Ganesh Satish fatally fished outside the off-stump against the nippy Orissa seamers.

It got worse for Karnataka when southpaw Amit Verma moved across for a flick and missed the line against Alok Sahoo, who was in the middle of a sharp morning spell of 6-2-10-2.

The stage was set for the salvage-act and Pandey (144 n.o., 223b, 12x4, 5x6) and Gautam (144 n.o., 193b, 21x4, 1x6) readily complied. Pandey, fidgety to begin with, gradually relaxed through drives straight down the ground while Gautam essayed a classic cover drive against Basant Mohanty. Gautam enjoyed a reprieve on 21 when he snicked Basant and Subhrajit Sahoo failed to cup his gloves. In the end, Pandey, who scored his fifth Ranji ton and Gautam, with his fourth Ranji century, ensured that Karnataka sat pretty with an unfinished 157-run lead.

The scores: Orissa — 1st innings: 191.

Karnataka — 1st innings: K.B. Pawan lbw b Debashish Mohanty 0, K.L. Rahul b Sahoo 11, Ganesh Satish c Poddar b Sahoo 25, Robin Uthappa c Poddar b Basanta Mohanty 9, Manish Pandey (batting) 144, Amit Verma b Sahoo 5, C.M. Gautam (batting) 144. Extras (b-5, lb-3, nb-2): 10. Total (for five wkts., in 89.5 overs): 348.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-18, 3-46, 4-48, 5-54.

Orissa bowling: Debashish Mohanty 24-4-64-1, Basanta Mohanty 21-6-58-1, Sahoo 17.5-3-68-3, Samantray 4-0-19-0, Dhirajkumar Singh 12-0-74-0, Rakesh Mohanty 9-0-47-0, Niranjan Behera 2-0-10-0 .

Other scores: At Kanpur: Uttar Pradesh 197 vs. Himachal Pradesh nine for two in five overs.

At Ahmedabad: Gujarat 162 for three in 52 overs (Priyank Panchal 63, Niraj Patel 44) vs. Bengal.

At Mumbai: Assam 81 for three in 36 overs vs. Mumbai.

At Chennai: Tamil Nadu 244 for two in 87 overs (Abhinav Mukund 108 batting, S. Badrinath 106 batting) vs. Railways.

At Vadodara: Baroda 416 in 136.4 overs (Connor Williams 75, Jaykishan Kolsawala 43, Kedar Devdhar 65, Ambati Rayudu 79, Pinal Shah 63, Karan Goel four for 96, Sarabjit Ladda five for 118) vs. Punjab 10 for one in seven overs .

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