Dravid double puts Karnataka in driver’s seat | india | Hindustan Times
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Dravid double puts Karnataka in driver’s seat

Rahul Dravid will be cutting his 37th birthday cake next Monday. The middle-order stalwart continues to show that age is just a number, reports Sharad Deep.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2010 23:07 IST
Sharad Deep

Rahul Dravid will be cutting his 37th birthday cake next Monday. The middle-order stalwart continues to show that age is just a number.

After missing a century by three runs against the same team in Meerut earlier this season, Dravid on Monday almost ensured that Karnataka wouldn't bat a second time in this Ranji Trophy semi-final against Uttar Pradesh by hitting a superb double century, which put his team in a strong position.

Making full use of a placid wicket at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Dravid struck an unbeaten 209 as Karnataka declared their first innings at 575 for seven. This was his fifth double hundred at this level of cricket.

In reply, Uttar Pradesh were in trouble with the scoreboard showing 11 for two. Skipper Mohammad Kaif was at the crease with Tanmay Srivastava.

Shivakant Shukla couldn't open his account before being run out by a direct throw by Amit Verma from the covers. Nightwatchman Bhuvaneshwar Kumar got a doubtful leg-before decision off Abhinav Mithun as the ball appeared to be missing leg stump.

Dravid was aggressive from the beginning and kept the fielders on their toes with his perfect shot selection.

The best part of his innings was that he didn't try anything extraordinary or overenthusiastic.

Dravid's 500-minute stay in the middle was enough to inspire other batsmen, as almost all of them chipped in with handy runs, which resulted in a string of useful partnerships.

Resuming at the overnight total of 255 for four, the batsmen didn't allow the bowlers any headway after RP Singh sent back nightwatchman Vinay Kumar in the sixth over of the day.

Dravid hit a boundary off RP on the first delivery of the day, before completing his half-century with a cover drive off the same bowler. His batting left Kaif short of ideas and he tried as many as nine bowlers, including himself to stop the riot, but to no avail. Frequent changes in field placements too didn't bear fruit.