Karnataka scuttled Delhi for a paltry 90 before scoring a solid 131/3 to take a commanding position on the first day of their Ranji Trophy group league match in Kolkata on Thursday.
Electing to bowl, Karnataka made best use of the conditions on a helpful Eden Gardens pitch to dismiss Delhi in the first session. After a wicket-less second session that produced 71 runs for Karnataka in 27 overs, Delhi hit back with three wickets but there was no doubt that the day belonged to Karnataka.
Star of the day was Sreenath Arvind --- replacing the injured Vinay Kumar --- who took 4/12, including the all-important wicket of Gautam Gambhir. Abhimanyu Mithun took two wickets but could have got at least one more had Rishabh Pant not been dropped in consecutive overs.
Pant was the only Delhi batsman who looked to take the attack to Karnataka with a 20-ball 24, laced with three sixes and a boundary, but departed after trying to cut a ball that was too close to his body. Bad shot selection continued to dog Delhi’s innings as no batsman could stitch any partnership of significance.
As expected the Eden pitch assisted some movement in the first hour. Unmukt Chand was dismissed in the fourth delivery of the day when he was adjudged leg-before on the front foot off Mithun. Five overs later, Gambhir tried to pull Arvind but only managed a top edge that Karun Nair caught running in from mid-on. Once Dhruv Shorey was trapped leg-before by off-spinner K Gowtham, Delhi didn’t take much time to capitulate.
Coming out to bat, Karnataka showed there was no demons in the pitch as openers R Samarth and Mayank Agarwal put on an 87-run partnership before the former was caught behind off the bowling of Vikas Tokas. Samarth and Agarwal looked in flowing form as both hit eight boundaries each.
Delhi’s bowling lacked sting as there didn’t seem to be any plan for the Karnataka openers. Ishant Sharma, wearing his India shirt, looked especially wayward on his comeback as he finished with 10-3-34-0. With Robin Uthappa gone cheaply, Karnataka would have wanted one of their openers to stay unbeaten but Agarwal departed trying to pull a Tokas delivery that bounced little more to take a leading edge.