Dravid falters; Karnataka off to a bad start

Published: Saturday, November 3, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Mumbai: Off spinner Ramesh Powar had the Karnataka batsmen in all sorts of problems as he took five wickets for 69 to put the hosts in command on the first day of their opening Super League Group 'A' Ranji Trophy league match at the Wankhede Stadium here today.

Karnataka batting first on winning the toss had reached 189 for nine in 91 overs with B Akhil on 53 and N C Aiyappa on 1 at the crease when stumps were called for the first day's play.

Karnataka were given an early jolt when Ajit Agarkar removed the dangerous B Rowland on the fourth ball of the day. Rowland got a perfect out-swinger which he edged to keeper Samant without opening his account.

Rahul Dravid, then walked in next wanting to prove a point to the selectors after being dropped from the first two ODIs against Pakistan, began slowly showing the full face of the bat to anything hurled at him. He got of the mark with a cover driven four of Rajesh Varma after 35 balls.

At the other end Agarkar got his second wicket when the other opener K B Pawan edged to first slip for debutant Ajinkya Rahane to complete a good catch. Pawan made 11 with Karnataka on 23 for two.

Dravid was then joined by C Raghu and the two set about repairing the innings with the former India captain looking in good touch.

Dravid started opening out with two beautiful fours in an over from Powar the first a cover driven boundary and the second an marrellous on drive.

Raghu at the other end was giving Dravid good company as the two put on 49 runs for the third wicket on a pitch which had already started taking turn and bounce in the pre-lunch session on the first day.

Dravid, after reaching 40, got a beauty from Ramesh Powar which turned and bounced as the batsman tried to flick it on the onside, but only managed to hit it straight to the backward square-leg fielder where Amol Muzumdar took an easy catch. Dravid made 40 which came in a stay of 97 balls and had four hits to the fence.

Karnataka then lost the next batsman Yere Goud for just five runs being stumped by Vinayak Samant of Ramesh Powar to leave Karnataka tottering at 78 for four.

B Akhil coming in at number seven then set about repairing the innings in the company of Thilak Naidu, the two putting on 48 runs for the sixth wicket before Ramesh Powar changed ends and from the pavilion end got three more wickets to reduce Karnataka to 189 for nine.

B Akhil was the only Karnataka batsman to defy the Mumbai bowlers reaching his 50 in the last over of the day. He faced 118 balls and his unbeaten 53 run knock was laced with seven boundaries.


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