Ranji Trophy 2023-24: Mayank, Devdutt centuries propel Karnataka towards lead despite late wickets

If not for some late-afternoon tardiness, Karnataka would have finished firmly on top at the end of day two of its Ranji Trophy match against Goa at the SDNR Wadiyar Stadium here on Saturday.

Propelled by fine centuries from Mayank Agarwal and Devdutt Padikkal, Karnataka was coasting along at 238 for one, just 83 runs adrift of Goa’s first-innings total.

But a rush of blood from Padikkal cost him (103, 143b, 13×4), as he charged at off-spinner Mohit Redkar, only to find himself in no man’s land and edge a catch to slip. Mayank sliced left-arm spinner Darshan Misal straight to point (114, 179b, 10×4).

At stumps, Karnataka was 253 for four, 68 runs in the red. With Manish Pandey still injured, the host will need Nikin Jose (3 batting), Sharath Srinivas (0 batting) and all-rounder Shubhang Hegde to do the heavy lifting.

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In hindsight, the 93 runs Karnataka allowed Goa to add to the overnight 228 for eight seemed one too many. Tailender Heramb Parab brandished his willow like a stick weapon (53, 81b, 8×4, 1×6) while Arjun Tendulkar displayed a good dose of elegance (52, 112b, 3×4, 1×6).

Both however paled in comparison to Mayank and Padikkal during the Karnataka batters’ 211-run second-wicket stand.

After opener D. Nischal fell early, leg-before to a ball from Misal that kept low, the duo was full of elegant drives, deft nudges and delicate steers. Mayank reached his fifty with a drive past mid-off, while Padikkal got there with a square-driven boundary.

The Goa bowlers tried crippling the home batters by bowling short and a largely leg-stump line. Padikkal, though, swayed to execute an upper-cut, pulled pacer Felix Alemao to move into the 90s and got to his fourth First Class hundred with a slapped four off Tendulkar and a hard-run double. Mayank got his 17th with a fierce flat-batted boundary past Redkar.

Goa seemed set to suffer further, and be buried under a mountain of runs. But a late turnround means it will return on day three still alive and kicking.

Brief Scores

Goa – 1st innings: Total (in 110.1 overs): 321 ( Snehal Kauthankar 83, Arjun Tendulkar 52, Heramb Parab 53)

Karnataka – 1st innings: Total (for four wkts. in 64 overs): 253. (Mayank Agarwal 114, Devdutt Padikkal 103)

Source website: sportstar.thehindu.com

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