Defending champions Karnataka ended Day Two of the Ranji Trophy final against Tamil Nadu in a commanding position at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday.
Karnataka centurion Karun Nair in full flow against Tamil Nadu on Day 2 of the Ranji Trophy final at Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK
Riding on centuries from K L Rahul and Karun Nair, Karnataka ended the day with 323 for five. The duo put on a massive 239 runs for the sixth wicket. Tamil Nadu were bowled out for a paltry 134 on the opening day.
Karnataka started the day aggressively with overnight batsman Abhimanyu Mithun smashing L Balaji for 16 runs in the second over of the day. Along with Karun Nair, Mithun added 53 runs for the fifth wicket before he was adjudged lbw to Malolan Rangarajan for 39.
The fall of Mithun's wicket got India Test batsman Rahul to the crease. Rahul had injured his hamstring while fielding on Day One and retired hurt on 1. He resumed his innings after Mithun's departure but was clearly struggling with his fitness and running between the wickets.
Fighting through pain
The 22-year-old fought his way through pain to score a well crafted unbeaten hundred (131) studded with13 boundaries and one huge six over mid-wicket off Rangarajan. Rahul was well supported by Karun Nair, who notched up his first hundred (130) of the season. Coming it at No 6 with his team struggling at 16 for 3, Nair showed a lot of patience to bail his team out from the early loss of wickets.
The youngster has had a lean season and was clearly relieved to score runs in the all-important game. "I have been working very hard and was waiting for this kind of opportunity. I will try to make it as big as possible," he promised.
Brief scores: Karnataka 1st innings: 323 for five in 99 overs (KL Rahul batting 131, Karun Nair batting 130, Laxmipathy Balaji 3-68)