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Hat-trick of 100s by Karun

Mohali: Karun Nair completed a hat-trick of first-class centuries in his debut season as Karnataka seized control on Day III of their Ranji Trophy semi-final against hosts Punjab, taking a 81-run first innings lead, here, on Monday.

In reply to Punjab’s first innings total of 270, Karnataka ended the third day’s play at 351 for five with Nair batting on 107 in company of comeback man Amit Verma, who struck an unbeaten 65.

The duo added 110 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket stand as Harbhajan Singh and Co. were left frustrated with Manish Pandey (65) and wicket-keeper-batsman CM Gautam (48) also making useful contributions.

Twenty two-year-old Nair faced 191 balls during the day hitting nine fours. His innings was a mix of caution and aggression.

While he punished the loose balls, he did wait for his chance when the Punjab bowlers bowled a tidy line.