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Ranji Trophy 2021-22 Quarterfinals: 21 wickets Tumble as Karnataka-Uttar Pradesh Contest Hangs in The Balance

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Uttar Pradesh bounced back after conceding a first innings lead against home favourites Karnataka as their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal hung in balance on a day 21 wickets tumbled in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

On a difficult KSCA pitch, left-arm orthodox spinner Saurabh Kumar (14-4-32-2) relied on his tight bowling to fox Karnataka as they collapsed to 100 for 8 after taking a healthy 98-run first innings lead.

The 29-year-old India A bowler, who returned with 4 for 73 in the first innings, was well-supported by Ankit Rajpoot (8-2-15-2) as Karnataka lost eight wickets in the final session.

At stumps, wicketkeeper-batter Srinivas Sharath was unbeaten on 10 as the match headed for an exciting third day with the home side taking an overall 198 runs lead with two wickets intact.

The Karnataka ‘Big Three’ — Mayank Agarwal (22), Karun Nair (10) and skipper Manish Pandey (4) — disappointed again leaving their second innings in disarray.

Indian Test opener Agarwal, who was ignored for the upcoming Edgbaston Test against England, batted with lot more positive intent and slammed five boundaries in his 29-ball knock before being dismissed by the left-arm spinner.

Rajpoot then dismissed Nair, while Pandey was run out by Karan Sharma as Karnataka suffered a middle-order collapse and lost six wickets for 33 runs.

Earlier, Karnataka were bundled out for 253 in the first innings with addition of 40 runs to their overnight total with Shreyas Gopal slamming a gritty unbeaten fifty.

Overnight 26, Gopal remained unbeaten on 56 from 80 balls (6×4, 2×6) which pushed their total past 250-mark.

In reply, Uttar Pradesh were skittled out for 155 inside 38 overs.

Ronit More (3/47) caused the maximum damage, while the trio of Vijaykumar Vyshak, Vidhwath Kaverappa and Krishnappa Gowtham claimed two apiece.

Gowtham claimed the wickets of Rinku Singh (33) and Saurabh in successive overs while they lost another in Prince Yadav (0) without any addition to the total.

At 92 for 8, UP were looking down the barrel but Shivam Mavi then showed his exploits with the bat, slamming 32 off 35 balls (3×4, 1×6) to take their total past 150-mark.

He along with Rajpoot (18 not out from 16 balls) shared 44 runs for the last wicket, a partnership that brightened their hopes before the bowlers put Karnataka on the backfoot.

With two wickets in hand, it’s up for the Karnataka lower-order to prop their overall lead for their spin duo of K Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal to exploit the conditions.

Brief Scores

Karnataka 253 (Shreyas Gopal 56 not out; Saurabh Kumar 4/73, Shivam Mavi 3/60) and 100/8 in 34 overs (Saurabh 3/32, Ankit Rajpoot 2/15) vs Uttar Pradesh 155 in 37.3 overs (Priyam Garg 39, Rinku Singh 33; Ronit More 3/47).

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