Debutant Sharath rocks UP batting

Debutant Hosagivappa Sharath claimed four wickets, including that of Suresh Raina, as Karnataka had Uttar Pradesh struggling at 163 for seven on the first day of their Group B Ranji Trophy match here today.

Besides the left-handed Raina, the 19-year-old medium pacer sent back opener Ali Murtuza, and middle-order batsmen Parvinder Singh and Arish Alam after his team chose to field at the Bhamashah Stadium.

K P Appana picked up two wickets while there was one for Stuart Binny.

India discard Mohammad Kaif was the lone Uttar Pradesh to shine on a day when most of the other front-line batsmen struggled to get going.

Kaif remained unbeaten on 62 when stumps were drawn, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar was yet to open his account.

Kaif hit six fours during his 156-ball knock, and got support from Alam and Piyush Chawla who scored 27 and 23, respectively.

Sent into bat, the hosts were in trouble straightaway losing Murtaza for a team score of seven, and were reeling at 40 for four by the 16th over.

Kaif and Alam stemmed the slide with a half-century stand before Uttar Pradesh lost three more wickets, which hand the advantage to the visitors.

Brief scores:

Uttar Pradesh: 163 for seven in 60 overs (M Kaif 62 not out; H S Sharath 4/37).

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