Fourteen wickets in one day made it Even Stevens on Day One of the Karnataka vs Tamil Nadu Ranji Trophy final at Wankhede Stadium yesterday.
Karnataka skipper R Vinay Kumar led from the front by picking up five wickets for 34 runs to bundle out Tamil Nadu for a mere 134. However, his team found themselves in a precarious situation by the end of the day with Karnataka reeling at 45 for four in 14 overs thanks to a 3 for 10 burst from India bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji.
Opening the bowling with Abhimanyu Mithun, Vinay Kumar scalped the big wicket of Test star Murali Vijay on the last ball of the seventh over. Vijay, playing across the line to an incoming delivery was plumb in front for five. Baba Aparajith coming in at No 3 did not last long as he was cleaned up by Vinay Kumar for 1.
The Karnataka captain was rewarded for his consistent line and length as he ripped through Tamil Nadu's top order. The 31-year-old claimed the important wicket of his opposite number Abhinav Mukund shortly after lunch.
Having been dropped by Manish Pandey for three in the second over of the match, the left hander scored 35 before he shouldered arms to an incoming delivery, bowled from round the wicket. The middle order failed to consolidate which resulted in Tamil Nadu being bowled out in 62.4 overs Looking for a fresh start
"Initially, we got some help from the wicket and we stuck to our plans of bowling in the right areas. There were a few loose shots played which resulted in some wickets. In low-scoring matches, the opposition also comes hard at you, but we need to start afresh tomorrow," Vinay Kumar said at the end of the opening day.
Tamil Nadu captain Abhinav Mukund copes with a nasty delivery from a Karnataka bowler on Day One of the Ranji Trophy final at Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pics/ Suresh KK
In reply, Karnataka did not start well as KL Rahul had to retire hurt for 1 in the fourth over the innings. "He has a slight hamstring strain, but he is fit and expected to bat tomorrow," said Vinay Kumar.
Injury-hit Karnataka started badly as they lost three wickets with Ravikumar Samarth (14), Shishir Bhavane (0) and Robin Uthappa (0) all back in the pavilion with the scoreboard reading 16.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 134 all out (Abhinav Mukund 35; R Vinay Kumar 5-34, Abhimanyu Mithun 3-54 vs Karnataka 45-4 (KK Nair not out 9, Abhimanyu Mithun not out 14; L Balaji 3-10)