Karnataka captain Mayank Agarwal plays a shot against Saurashtra
Karnataka captain Mayank Agarwal plays a shot against SaurashtraFile Photo

Agarwal’s unbeaten ton helps Karnataka against Saurashtra

Sent in to bat, Karnataka was in some trouble, losing half its side for 112 in 40.3 overs.

BENGALURU: Skipper Mayank Agarwal scored an unbeaten century as he rescued Karnataka from a poor start to guide the host to 229 for five against Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy semi-final here on Wednesday.

Sent in to bat, Karnataka was in some trouble, losing half its side for 112 in 40.3 overs. But opener Agarwal (110 not out) held one end together and in the company of wicket-keeper Srinivas Sharath (58 not out) steadied the innings with an unbeaten 117-run partnership for the sixth wicket. Karnataka scored its runs off 87 overs before the umpires called stumps to the opening day’s proceedings.

Agarwal’s patient knock came off 246 balls during which he struck 11 boundaries and a six, while Sharath faced 143 deliveries during his unconquered knock and hit four fours in the process. Right-arm medium pacer Kushang Patel picked up two wickets, while Chetan Sakariya and Prerak Mankad accounted for one Karnataka batter each. The other wicket fell to a run out.

Karnataka did not have the best of starts as it lost opener Ravikumar Samarth in the sixth over, caught by Vishvaraj Jadeja off the bowling of Patel. New man in Devdutt Padikkal didn’t last long, caught by Sheldon Jackson off Sakariya’s bowling in the opening delivery of the ninth over.

Agarwal and Nikin Jose (18) shared 47 runs for the next wicket before the latter nicked a Patel delivery to Harvik Desai behind the stumps in the 29th over.

Manish Pandey didn’t trouble the scorers much, becoming Mankad’s scalp before Shreyas Gopal (15) became the victim of a run out as Karnataka slumped to 112 for 5.

But Agarwal and Sharath joined hands and played sensibly without taking any risks to deny Saurashtra further inroads.

Majumdar, Gharami slam tons but MP bounce back

Bengal’s crisis man Anustup Majumdar and young Sudip Gharami slammed centuries under pressure but ceded ground to reigning champion Madhya Pradesh at the fag end of the day in the other Ranji Trophy semifinal.

Displaying resilience, Majumdar (120) and Gharami (112) put together 241 runs from 414 balls as Bengal rebuilt the innings from being reduced to 51 for 2 in less than an hour into the opening day’s play at the Holkar Stadium here.

But the duo departed in quick succession with Madhya Pradesh striking with the new ball to open up the match in the final session. At close, Bengal was 307 for four with skipper Manoj Tiwary (5) batting alongside Shahbaz Ahmed (6).

Brief scores: Karnataka 229/5 in 87 overs (M Agarwal 110 batting, S Sharath 58 batting) vs Saurashtra; Bengal 307/4 in 87 overs (SK Gharami 112, A Majumdar 120) vs Madhya Pradesh

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