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Prajakta Pawar in Mumbai 31 January 2014 - 05:22pm IST

Report: Final - Maha vs Kar, RT 2013-14, Day 3

Karnataka in commanding position in Ranji final

Karnataka were leading by 169 runs at stumps on Day three in the Ranji Trophy final against Maharashtra in Hyderabad. Propelled to a commanding position by L Rahul and Ganesh Satish, the rest of the batting lineup helped take the team past Maharashtra’s first innings score and take Karnataka to 474 for seven at the end of day’s play.

Shreyas Gopal (9) and Vinay Kumar (8) were unbeaten at close of play. Samad Fallah claimed three wickets while Shrikant Mundhe and Chirag Khurana picked two wickets each through the day.

Earlier, after resuming on 117 for no loss, Satish was castled by Chirah Khurana in the first over of the day without adding to his overnight score. Having toiled for over two sessions on the second day, Maharashtra got their first breakthrough on the third morning. Robin Uthappa who had retired hurt early yesterday returned to the crease to help Rahul take the team past Maharashtra’s first innings total of 305.

Starting the day six runs short of his century, Rahul brought up the three-figure mark by sweeping Khurana to the boundary in the fifth over of the day. Couple of overs later he dismissed Akshay Darekar over long off for six and then cut the spinner for four. He later edged Shrikant Mundhe to the wicketkeeper to walk back for 131.

Manish Pandey then joined Uthappa in the middle and the pair took Karnataka to 343 for two at lunch. Post lunch, Maharashtra had a better outing in the middle as they claimed three wickets. Mundhe struck in the first over of the second session to account for Uthappa’s wicket. And 35 runs later, Samad Fallah trapped Pandey lbw.

Six overs later the pacer caught CM Gautam off his own bowling to give the team another breakthrough. Biding their time at the crease, Karun Nair and Amit Verma then saw the rest of the session through to take Karnataka to 414 for five, 109 runs ahead of the opposition.

The pair continued to add to the total at an unhurried pace as they extended the lead. While on 44, Nair edged Khurana to Motwani and departed in the last session of the day.

Fallah struck to remove Verma for 29 and give Maharashtra their seventh wicket of the day. Karnataka skipper Vinay Kumar then made his way to the middle and with Shreyas Gopal saw the team through to end of day’s play in an unbroken 13-run partnership.