The Telegraph
Friday , January 31 , 2014
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Karnataka in control

Hyderabad: Ganesh Satish slammed an unbeaten 117 and shared 216 runs with opener Lokesh Rahul (94 batting) as Karnataka took control of the Ranji Trophy summit clash against Maharashtra on the second day, here, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, on Thursday.

After bowling out Maharashtra for 305, an addition of just 33 runs to their overnight 272 for five, in the first hour of the morning session, Karnataka ended Day II on a commanding 230 for no loss in 68 overs. Karnataka are now only 75 runs behind their opponents with all the wickets intact.

Everything, including luck, went in favour of Karnataka except that the other opener Robin Uthappa retired hurt on 10 when Karnataka put up 14 runs on board, in the fifth over after being hit on the left elbow by a Samad Fallah delivery.

But Rahul and the No. 3 Satish played some fine strokes and also capitalised on poor bowling and fielding by their opponents to place Karnataka in a position where they can really dictate terms and seal the issue.

Maharashtra bowlers toiled hard for two-and-half sessions on a pitch where they did not get much purchase except during the first session that offered some movement for the bowlers. Unlike their accurate line in the semis against Bengal, the Fallahs erred in line and length, while Rahul and Satish ensured they capitalised on the loose stuff.

Poor fielding compounded Maharashtra’s woes, as both Rahul and Satish were dropped twice each. Satish was dropped on six and 89, while Rahul got reprieves when he was yet to open his account and on 74.

Despite the initial hiccups, together with Uthappa walking off the field, and the two batsmen getting lives from the butter-fingered Maharashtra fielders, the Satish-Rahul pair were never shy of unleashing strokes. Satish hit 16 fours from the 207 balls he has faced so far, while Rahul struck nine fours and a six from 189 deliveries.