Favourites Karnataka are well on course to win the Ranji Trophy title after extending their overall lead to 169 runs at stumps on the third day of their summit clash against Maharashtra, in Hyderabad on Friday.
Hyderabad: Riding high on centuries from Lokesh Rahul and Ganesh Satish, six-time champions Karnataka opened up an impressive lead of 169 runs against Maharashtra on the third day of the Ranji Trophy cricket final here Friday.
Karnataka’s Lokesh Rahul celebrates his century yesterday
Rahul made 131 and Satish 117 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here and Karnataka finished the day at a handsome 474 for eight in the first innings in reply to Maharashtra's 305 all out. At stumps, skipper Vinay Kumar was batting on eight and Shreyas Gopal on nine.
Karnataka started the day on top and finished it with a firm grip on the match. If they scored 230 runs on the second day, they added 242 runs on the third with a strong batting display. Though Satish departed without adding a single to the overnight score of 230, Robin Uthappa (72) and Rahul kept the scoreboard moving with their 118-run stand for the second wicket.
Satish fell to the fifth ball of the day as he was bowled by a low delivery from off-spinner Chirag Khurana. Satish struck 16 fours during his 217-ball stay. Uthappa, who retired hurt early in the innings after he was hit on his left elbow by Samad Fallah, came back strongly with an entertaining 108-ball innings that was studded with 10 fours and a six.
At a time when the partnership looked dangerous, Rahul, who had struck 13 fours and two sixes, gifted his wicket to pacer Srikanth Mundhe as he chased a wide delivery and edged to wicketkeeper Rohit Motwani.
Uthappa also fell soon and had to blame himself as he became Mundhe's second victim chasing a wide delivery to the point. Manish Pandey (36), Karun Nair (44) and Amit Verma (29) also got good starts but failed to convert these into big total.