Defending champion Karnataka need just four wickets to book their second consecutive berth in the final of the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament as Mumbai are struggling at 277 for six in their second innings at stumps on the third day, today.
Chasing a target of 445, Mumbai still need 168 runs with just four wickets in hand and two full days play remaining. Siddhesh Lad (41) and Abhishek Nayar (2) were at the crease when stumps were drawn.
Karnataka bowlers made good use of the two-paced wicket as they did not let the visitors go on the offensive. Mumbai batsmen were kept on a tight leash by Karnataka captain R Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun with good support from pacer Aravind Sreenath and leggie Shreyas Gopal.
Mithun was outstanding today as he now and then troubled the Mumbai top-order including skipper Aditya Tare, who was the top-scorer for the visitors with 98 off 207 balls, and inform Shreyas Iyer (50 off 66).
Mithun ran in hard and bowled his heart out, finishing with figures of three for 49 in 27 overs. Vinay, Gopal and Sreenath picked up one wicket each.
Mumbai batsmen, though, had two sessions in their name but could not turn the heat against the hosts as they found scoring runs difficult on the two-paced wicket.Tare played a captain’s knock, pacing his innings to perfection but unfortunately missed the century by just two runs.
Iyer was very lucky to have survived as he was dropped by wicketkepeer Robin Uthappa in very same over after Mithun sent back overnight batsman Akhil Herwadkar trapped leg before for 31 runs.
Iyer grabbed the lifeline with both hands and made a brisk 50 studded with seven boundaries.