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Karnataka on the verge of Ranji title

In-form Kedar Jadhav's fighting ton could prove futile as Vinay Kumar's men tighten grip against Maharashtra

Hyderabad: There was no end to Maharashtra's troubles in their Ranji Trophy final against Karnataka despite a fighting century from Kedar Jadhav on Day Four at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Saturday.

Karnataka captain R Vinay Kumar (centre) leads his team out of the ground yesterday. He took 4-84
Karnataka captain R Vinay Kumar (centre) leads his team out of the ground yesterday. He took 4-84 

Jadhav (112 off 135 balls) took his team to 272 for six before getting out towards the end of the day's play. Maharashtra lead by only 62 runs and their tail needs to fire if they are to put up a fighting target. Rohit Motwani (3 not out) and Shrikant Mundhe (3 not out) were in the middle.

Ankit Bawne (61 off 115 balls) scored his second fifty of the game and gave vital support to Jadhav. Karnataka, resuming the day at 474 for seven, were 515 all out in their first innings. Mahrashtra made 305 in the first attempt.

Their skipper Vinay Kumar led from the front, taking his match haul to seven with four wickets for 84 runs. Leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal picked up two for 37.

Exceptional batting
Jadhav's batting was exceptional against the spinners as he repeatedly used his feet to good effect. He was watchful for the first 30 balls of his innings and went on to attack once Robin Uthappa was brought into the attack.

The pint-sized batsman gave Uthappa the charge to hit a one-bounce four over long-on. He gave the same treatment to Sreenath Aravind and against leggie Gopal, he danced down the track to hit him inside out over extra cover.

Bawne, on the otherhand, punished the occasional loose deliveries and rotated the strike well. The best part about Jadhav's innings was his ability to hit boundaries on both sides of the square.

When Vinay pitched it around his pads, he whipped it towards fine leg for a boundary while he unleashed a crashing cut shot when Mithun gave width outside off-stump.

Wicket at wrong time
He swept part-time leg-spinner Amit Verma, who was trying to contain the run flow pitching it on the leg stumps line. His century came off 118 balls when he got a couple sweeping Verma. En route his century, Jadhav lost a reliable partner in Bawne, who was out for 61 having struck four boundaries in his 115-ball knock. He was out as he tried to give Gopal the charge and was stumped by Gautam.

Brief scores
Maharashtra 305 and 272-6 (K Jadhav 112, A Bawne 61; R Vinay Kumar 4-84) lead Karnataka 515 (S Rahul 131, G Satish 117; Fallah 3-93)

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