Riding on 23-year-old’s unbeaten 310, defending champs post 618 against Tamil Nadu in the final
During the press conference at the end of day’s play on Monday, Karnataka’s Karun Nair had promised to score as many runs as possible. And the 23-year-old kept his promise in style by scoring his first triple century in first class cricket yesterday at the Wankhede Stadium against Tamil Nadu.
Karnataka’s Karun Nair celebrates after reaching 300 runs against Tamil Nadu on Day Three of the Ranji Trophy final at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK
Getting to 300 in style
Nair got to the magical triple century mark with a four as he reverse swept Malolna Rangarajan to the point boundary. “It came naturally as I did not think about the reverse sweep. I wanted to get two runs and it gave me a boundary but I did not plan anything,” he revealed later.
Records kept tumbling at the Wankhede Stadium as Nair patiently went about his business. He combined with KL Rahul (188) to register the highest sixth wicket partnership (386 runs off 671 balls) in the history of Karnataka cricket. In the process of his marathon effort, Nair surpassed Gundappa Viswanath’s highest score of 247 runs (against Uttar Pradesh in 1977-78) in a Ranji final.
“It is a special feeling being around Vishwanath sir but (I) don’t want to look back now. I just want to keep going as far as I can,” he said.
Nair is only the second player after Abdul Azeem of Hyderabad (303* in 1986/87) to score a triple century against Tamil Nadu.
Describing his mammoth 14-hour effort, he said, “I applied myself and played each ball to its merit. I wanted to play as long as possible and score as many runs as possible. I started feeling a little tired at tea and after the tea session, but I kept stretching and drinking lot of water to keep myself going.”
Thank you, IPL
Nair credited the Indian Premier League for helping him develop confidence as a player. “It is a different format, but confidence-wise it definitely helps because you are playing against international bowlers and you know for yourself that you can play well at that level which really helps,” he said.
Earlier, starting on an overnight score of 323 for 5, Rahul and Nair negated the movement in the morning session and took the team to 446 runs for the loss of five wickets at lunch. The defending champions have not put a foot wrong in the final but will be disappointed on seeing Rahul miss out on a well-deserved double hundred. The youngster fought through pain to score 188 runs off 320 balls with 17 fours and three sixes before falling to Rangarajan shortly after lunch.
It was yet another disappointing day for the Tamil Nadu bowlers as they failed to break the partnership and to add to their trouble, left arm pacer Prasanth Parameswaran limped off the field with an injury sustained while trying to field the ball in the first over after lunch.
Karnataka stretched their lead to 484 runs to end day three with 618 runs for the loss of 7 wickets with Karun Nair batting on 310 and Vinay Kumar batting on 41.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu (1st innings) 134 all out
(Vinay Kumar 5-34, A Mithun 3-54) Karnataka (1st innings) 618 for seven (K Nair 310 not out, KL Rahul 188; L Balaji 3-95)