A hat-trick by Vinay Kumar saw Karnataka end the first day of the Ranji trophy quarter-final in command against Mumbai in Nagpur on Thursday.
Captain Vinay Kumar burst out of the blocks dismissing Mumbai’s first five batsmen including a hat-trick in between the first and third overs of the game. After dismissing in-form Prithvi Shaw at the end of the first over, Vinay Kumar proceeded to remove Jay Bista and Akash Parkar in quick succession at the start of the first over, to put Karnataka on top of proceedings early in the game.
Kumar’s blistering first spell was complemented by Abhinav Mithun and Sreenath Aravind, the other pacers in the squad, who each chipped in with wickets to reduce Mumbai to 103-9. Dhawal Kulkarni rescued the Mumbai innings from a precarious position with a fighting 75. Mumbai ended their innings with 173 runs on the board after a dogged last-wicket partnership between Kulkarni and Shivam Malhotra.
Vinay became only the fourth bowler to take multiple hat-tricks in Ranji history, with Anil Kumble, Joginder Rao and Pritam Gandhe being the others. The hat-trick by Vinay Kumar was only the sixth hat-trick in Ranji Trophy knockout games and the second hat-trick of his career having taken his first against Maharashtra in 2008.
In reply, Karnataka ended Day One at 115-1 with Mayank Agarwal unbeaten on 60. In a flashy innings riddled with 8 boundaries and a strike-rate of 74%, Agarwal steered Karnataka to within 58 runs of Mumbai’s first innings score with 9 wickets in hand. Agarwal’s fifty was ably supported by R Samarth, who scored 40 in a 83-run opening partnership. Kaunain Abbas remained unbeaten on 12 along with Agarwal.
With 1064 runs so far in the tournament, Agarwal has led from the front in Karnataka’s surge to the quarter-finals.
Madhya Pradesh is facing Delhi in the 2nd quarter-final at Vijaywada while Gujarat is up against Bengal and Vidarbha are playing Kerala for a place in the last four of the tournament.