Rahul and Nair tons put Karnataka in driver’s seat

India’s incumbent opener KL Rahul and last season’s find for Karnataka Karun Nair scored unbeaten hundreds to guide Karnataka to a total of 323/5 at stumps on the second day in Mumbai. Karnataka lead by 189 runs with three wickets remaining.

The match was evenly poised at the start of play with Karnataka struggling at 45/4. Night watchman Abhimanyu Mithun started in aggressive fashion by stroking a stylish 39 with seven boundaries. He was unlucky to be adjudged LBW off the bowling of Malolan Rangarajan, who picked the lone wicket to fall on the day.

Courtesy: PTI
Courtesy: PTI

Rahul was unbeaten on 131 while Nair was playing on 130. Rahul’s knock was especially commendable as he braved a hamstring injury to stay at the crease for close to 6 hours. Nair, on the other hand, hit his first century of the season. It was a significant change in fortunes for Nair who had scored one fifty in 15 innings this year.

The Tamil Nadu bowlers lacked penetration and their lack of pace also stood out and did not help matters. Karnataka will fancy their chances of defending their crown now with a healthy lead in hand.

Deluge of wickets on day one

The Ranji trophy final between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai saw a flurry of wickets on the first day as Tamil Nadu were bowled out for 134 after being asked to bat first. In reply, Karnataka were 45-4 at the close of play.

Karnataka’s pace triumvirate of R Vinay Kumar, Abhimanyu Mithun and Sreenath Aravind made full use of the early moisture to bundle out Tamil Nadu for a paltry total. Vinay picked 5- 34 to reach 300 first class wickets, becoming the sixth pacer in the Ranji trophy to achieve the landmark. Vinay had also picked up a 5 wicket haul in the semi final against Mumbai. He now has 46 wickets for the season.

Tamil Nadu skipper Abhinav Mukund top scored for them with 35 after being dropped early in the innings by Manish Pandey off Mithun. Karnataka were jolted early in their innings by veteran pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji who accounted for the big wickets of Robin Uthappa, Pandey and the in-form R Samarth, ending the day with 3 wickets for 10 runs.

Karnataka will now rely on KL Rahul who retired on 1 after injuring his hamstring which he had hurt in the field to gain the first innings advantage.

Courtesy: PTI
Courtesy: PTI

Karnataka favourites in clash of southern heavyweights

Defending champions Karnataka take on Tamil Nadu in the finals of India’s premier domestic tournament, the Ranji Trophy, at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. The teams have taken contrasting routes to the final. While Karnataka have been unbeaten throughout their campaign, Tamil Nadu was in danger of being relegated at the halfway mark of the Group stage. Tamil Nadu then turned around its performances remarkably aided by some spin friendly tracks at their home ground, Chepauk. The two teams last met in the finals in the 1995-96 season when Karnataka emerged champions.

Karnataka has been the stand out team on the domestic circuit for the past two seasons winning a plethora of competitions like the Ranji Trophy, Irani Trophy and the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Vinay Kumar has led the team by example taking 41 wickets which places him third on the wicket takers chart. He has been well supported by Abhimanyu Mithun and Sreenath Aravind who have picked 36 and 39 wickets respectively. On the other hand, Abhinav Mukund has been impressive in his first season as full time skipper of Tamil Nadu scoring 810 runs at an average of 47.64.

Team News:

Karnataka may miss out on the services of their talismanic keeper CM Gautam who is nursing a quad strain.

  1. Robin Uthappa, 2. KL Rahul, 3. R Samarth, 4. Manish Pandey, 5. Karun Nair, 6. Shishir Bhavane, 7. CM Gautam/ Udit Patel, 8. Vinay Kumar, 9. Shreyas Gopal, 10. A Mithun, 11. S Aravind

Tamil Nadu have no injury concerns and are expected to play with an unchanged team.

  1. M Vijay, 2. A Mukund, 3. B Aparajith, 4. D Karthik, 5. Vijay Shankar, 6. R Prasanna, 7. B Indrajith, 8. M Rangarajan, 9. L Balaji, 10. A Aswin Crist, 11. P Parameswaran

Weather and Pitch:

The weather will be hot and sunny with no chance of rain. The Wankhede pitch generally has good bounce and carry and starts to turn from the third day. The gentle breeze may help in getting some swing early in the morning.

Karnataka look like the more fancied team to add to their tally of 7 Ranji Trophy titles which will take them to second on the all time list behind Mumbai who have won a barely believable 40 titles.

Courtesy: thehindu.com
Courtesy: thehindu.com

Defending champions Karnataka reach finals again

Karnataka reached the finals of the premier domestic tournament, the Ranji trophy for the second year in succession after bowling out Mumbai for 332 runs and winning the match by 112 runs. Karnataka was in ascendancy throughout the match and their chances of winning received a further boost when the experience Abhishek Nayar, who was not out overnight, did not walk out to bat. Siddhesh Lad was left with only the bowlers for company and he fought valiantly for 71 before being the last man dismissed.

Balwinder Sandhu replaced Nayar at the crease and was the first man dismissed in the day. He fell LBW to Abhimanyu Mithun for 5. He was extremely unfortunate to be adjudged LBW after getting a massive inside edge. Vineet Kulkarni’s horrendous game continued as this was the fourth relatively simple decision that he got wrong. Lad and Shardul Thakur put on 40 runs for the ninth wicket before both of them were dismissed in quick succession to wrap up the Mumbai innings. Vinay Kumar was adjudicated to be the man of the match for his match winning performance in Mumbai’s first innings where he scalped 6 wickets resulting in Mumbai being bowled out for 44. The finals will start in Mumbai on the 8th of March.

Mumbai coach Pravin Amre criticised the umpiring saying that “I think BCCI should also think about keeping quality umpires in big games. The match referees can go and watch, there is evidence. Robin Uthappa’s decision – [had it been] 30 for 3, the match would have been different. Same thing with [Aditya] Tare’s decision at a vital time. I think those were the turning points for me.”

Karnataka captain Vinay said that he expected more from Karnataka’s batsmen like Karun Nair and Manish Pandey. He said, “This season, we have been lacking a bit in batting. We will have a meeting. I think after taking a 150-run lead they could have left the ball outside off stump and spent more time at the wicket since we had four days to bat. We definitely need to pay more attention to shot selection. “At this level, the amount of experience each batsman has, it is all about mental setup and how they approach. It has to come from within. We are waiting for Manish [Pandey] and Karun [Nair] to click. Hopefully in the next game they perform well and we will return with the trophy.”

On current form, Karnataka will fancy their chances in the final.

Courtesy: PTI
Courtesy: PTI


Karnataka well placed to reach the finals

Karnataka strengthened their grip on the Ranji trophy semi final by striking at regular intervals to reduce Mumbai to 277-6 at stumps on the third day in Bangalore. Mumbai require 168 runs with 4 wickets remaining in the bank.

Aditya Tare was the highest scorer for Mumbai with a sparkling innings of 98. Shreyas Iyer and Siddhesh Lad were the other batsmen who contributed significantly to Mumbai’s total scoring 50 and 41 not out respectively. Suryakumar Yadav also chipped in with 36 runs. Lad was on the crease with Abhishek Nayar who recovered from a head injury and was unbeaten on a sedate 2 off 41 deliveries.

Abhimanyu Mithun continued his heroics from the previous day picking up 3 of the first 4 wickets to fall and ending with figures of 3-49 off 27 miserly overs. R Vinay Kumar, S Aravind and Shreyas Gopal picked up a wicket each.

Herwadkar was the first batsman dismisses in the day when he was trapped LBW by Mithun after adding 10 runs to his overnight score of 21. Karnataka still look to have control over the match but Mumbai will fancy its chances with two proper batsmen at the crease.

Image courtesy: rediff.com
Image courtesy: rediff.com

HRD ministry asks ICSE Council for report on Bangalore school rape

Photo Courtesy – m.oneindia.in

New Delhi: In the voiced concern about the Bangalore school rape case, the HRD ministry on Tuesday issued a notice to the Council of Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) asking it to look into the matter and to give a report on the same. Safety and security of students is a major concern and priority for all the schools. The HRD ministry expresses deep grievances on the serious incident that happened in the Bangalore School with a six year old girl on July 2.

However, reports of similar incidents in other schools affiliated with CISCE have come into light as well. Human Resource Development ministry has asked CISCE to follow the matter and to submit a detailed report with regard to the action taken against the accused. The Karnataka government has suggested withdrawing the granted affiliation from the school.

Read more at: http://www.abplive.in/crime/2014/08/06/article375579.ece/HRD-ministry-asks-ICSE-Council-for-report-on-Bangalore-school-rape