Captain Vinay bowls Karnataka to victory

Kolkata, Dec 17: Captain and pace spearhead R Vinay Kumar exposed Bengal's batting frailty with a match haul of nine wickets and lead Karnataka to a crushing nine-wicket away win in their Ranji Trophy Group A match at Eden Gardens, here today.

Also read: Manoj Tiwary hit by a bouncer

Vinay Kumar returned with figures of 6-34, his 15th five-for in first class cricket, as Bengal after being followed on lost six wickets for just 29 runs in a pathetic batting display to be bundled out for 227 in their second essay, setting a paltry target of 71.

Bengal were let down by Manoj Tiwary who followed his first innings duck with a four from 21 deliveries and it was the duo of skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla (57 from 65 balls) and Sudeep Chatterjee (59), who avoided the ignominy of an innings defeat.

Flamboyant opener Robin Uthappa's 36-ball 54 (10x4, 1x6) helped the defending champions hunt down the target in 10.2 overs in an extended second session. This was Karnataka's second outright win on the trot to lead the group table with 12 points after two rounds.

Bengal had a bit of solace by denying Karnataka a bonus point as Uthappa was dismissed by Shib Shankar Paul immediately after the veteran Bengal seamer dropped the opener at fine leg in the previous over.

Karnataka leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal was adjudged man-of-the-match for his match-turning 145 in a 148-run 10th wicket partnership with Sreenath Aravind that had seized the momentum for the visitors, who were reeling 69 for five on the opening day.

"We all are enjoying each other's company, it's a healthy dressing room atmosphere," Uthappa said about their champion-like performance. Vinay Kumar disagreed that it was a meek surrender by Bengal batsman and credited their bowling for the away win.

Earlier in the morning, Bengal resuming the day with a 111-run trail and soon lost overnight opener Arindam Das. Bengal's most reliable batsman Tiwary disappointed yet again as the India probable for the World Cup looked out of sorts and found it difficult to get going against an out an out seam attack of Karnataka.


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