Karnataka fall like nine pins

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Karnataka’s batting lineup failed to live up to the expectations for the second time in three matches so far in the season, granting hosts Uttar Pradesh the innings honours in their Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ fixture, here on Sunday.
On Day Two of the proceedings, Karnataka were bowled out for a scratchy 181 in their opening essay, a firstinnings deficit of 102 runs, before UP reached 55/3 at stumps to stretch their lead to 157.

UP’s new-ball bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar bagged 5-36 including two top-order scalps – opener K.B. Pawan and one-drop Ganesh Satish – early on to peg back Karnataka.

Bhuvneshwar’s pacebowling partner Imtiaz Ahmed, who rocked the famed Delhi batting lineup in the team’s season opener, snared three including the prize wickets of Robin Uthappa (12) and skipper Stuart Binny (21).

The only high point in an otherwise disastrous Karnataka batting card was an 83-run fourthwicket stand between the right-left duo of Manish Pandey and Amit Verma, both notching up halfcenturies on the day.

Pandey, who is yet to

make a big one in the season, managed 54 (97b, 7x4, 1x6) while Verma chipped in with 52 (90b, 10x4) before the duo returned to the hut in a span of 20 balls to leave Karnataka at 127/5 by the 38th over.
Slender hopes remain for Karnataka for a comefrom-behind charge as they managed to make inroads into the UP top order for the second time in the match with pacer Ronit More and offie K.

Gowtham picking one wicket apiece even as opener Mukul Dagar ran himself out.

Dagar’s opening partner Amir Khan fell to More while Gowtham’s

maiden first class wicket was a memorable one, of dangerman Suresh Raina (8). But UP’s first-innings saviour Mohammad Kaif remained unconquered on 18 off 60 balls, eyeing another revival mission.
Earlier, in the morning session, UP added just 10 runs to their overnight score when left-arm spinner K.P.

Appanna claimed his third wicket of the innings.

Thereafter, UP wrested the initiative by picking up wickets in regular intervals. The visitors’ downslide started in the first over itself with Pawan caught behind the wicket for no score to the third ball of the innings.

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