Ranji Trophy 2023/24: Nikin Jose ton puts Karnataka ahead against Goa

The attritional battle between Karnataka and Goa continued on day three of their Ranji Trophy encounter at the SDNR Wadiyar Stadium here.

From an overnight 253 for four, Karnataka rode on Nikin Jose’s second First-Class century (107, 215b, 6×4) to take a 177-run lead. But K.V. Siddharth led the fightback with a delectable half-century (57 batting, 74b, 8×4, 1×6) to leave the visitor 93 for one at stumps, 84 runs behind.

Though a win for Goa is a long shot, it can take heart in not allowing Karnataka to run away with the game. The host has to break the gridlock in the first session on Monday if it fancies getting more than three points.

On Sunday, the crowd at the University of Mysore was treated to two contrasting styles of batsmanship from Jose and Siddharth.

Under pressure after totalling just 34 runs from four previous outings, and with his seasoned teammate Manish Pandey unable to bat, Jose anchored the Karnataka innings meticulously.

The 23-year-old started the morning with a punched four off Arjun Tendulkar, but 80 of his runs came in ones and twos, with Sharath Srinivas proving the ideal foil (49, 100b, 4×4) as the duo combined for 148 runs.

When given the opportunity, though, Jose breached the ropes with aplomb, like the back-foot punch off pacer Felix Alemao to reach his fifty and the cut behind square off tweaker Deepraj Gaonkar.

Jose’s dismissal was, however unlucky, with a fierce pull off Darshan Misal ricocheting off the short-leg fielder Gaonkar’s helmet into the hands of Snehal Kauthankar at slip.

Goa’s Siddharth, on the other hand, scored at a brisk rate, showcasing some glorious drives and whiplashes. His stand-out shot was the stunning six over cover off speedster V. Koushik.

Siddharth’s assurance did not quite rub-off on partner Suyash Prabhudessai (34 batting, 82b, 3×4). The latter looked tentative against the spinners and it was a pity that Karnataka’s left-armers Rohit Kumar and Shubhang Hegde struggled on a track where their Goan counterpart Misal finished with a six-for (6/134).

Source website: sportstar.thehindu.com

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