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Pujara fails, Saurashtra feel the heat

cricket Updated: Dec 27, 2008 23:11 IST
Bivabasu Kumar
Bivabasu Kumar
Hindustan Times
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Saurashtra buckled under pressure to give Karnataka the advantage on the second day of their quarterfinal tie at CCI on Saturday. After removing the overnight batsmen for a paltry 40 runs, Karnataka reduced Saurashtra to 183 for 9 at the end of the day’s play.

At any rate it seemed like an age as the top order batsmen weaved, ducked and barely survived against the hostile attack of Vinay Kumar and S Aravind. The pace duo did exactly what the Saurashtra bowlers failed to do. They used the crease resourcefully, the slower ball effectively, the bouncers sparingly and the out swingers frequently. After Chiraj Pathak’s (24) wicket in the eighth over, Saurashtra never looked in shape to rebuild as wickets fell at regular intervals.

Almost everyone in the Karnataka bowling department chipped in on a bouncy wicket. The pacers did the maximum damage not only by picking up wickets but also drying up the runs. The floodgates opened immediately after lunch when Sunil Joshi got rid of BM Chauhan when the latter prodded at a quickish delivery from the left-arm spinner. Dravid latched on to the ball at first slip and the celebration that began then continued till stumps.

Much was expected of Cheteshwar Pujara (1), who has earned the reputation of playing mammoth innings, but he, too, perished cheaply against Aravind. Ravindra Jadeja (38), tried to consolidate the innings, and was even afforded a reprieve in the 29th over when Joshi dropped him off Arvind at the square leg boundary. He was eventually run out in the 42nd over after a mix up left him short of his crease in the 42nd over.