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Ranji Trophy Final: Maharashtra reach 272 for 5 on Day 1 against Karnataka

Ankit Bawne made an unbeaten 89 and took Maharashtra to a respectable score on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy final.

Press Trust of India |January 29, 2014, 6:19 PM IST
Ranji Trophy Final: Maharashtra reach 272 for 5 on Day 1 against Karnataka

Hyderabad: A gutsy unbeaten 89 by middle-order batsman Ankit Bawne and a half-century by opener Chirag Khurana helped Maharashtra reach a respectable 272 for 5 at stumps on day one of their Ranji Trophy final against Karnataka here on Wednesday.

Opting to bat, Maharashtra lost in-form opener Harshad Khadiwale (15) early, but Khurana (64) played the role of sheet anchor to perfection for one and half sessions as they were able to conjure three 50-plus partnerships, which helped them put up a decent total on a slow Uppal track.

Bawne's undefeated knock of 89 was comprised of 10 boundaries and he faced 172 deliveries in the process. Opener Khurana also hit eight fours in his 145-ball knock. India U-19 captain Vijay Zol (5), who was specially permitted by the BCCI to play the final didn't last long. Kedar Jadhav (37, 6x4) looked fluent during his short stay at the crease but was the victim of a poor decision by umpire Anil Chaudhary.

For Karnataka, medium pacer Abhimanyu Mithun was the most successful bowler taking two for 44 in 19 overs. Skipper R Vinay Kumar (1 for 56 in 23 overs), Sreenath Aravind (1 for 62) and Karun Nair (1 for 21) were the other successful bowlers.

In fact Karnataka started off on a positive note as Vinay trapped Khadiwale plumb in-front. Zol never looked comfortable during his 28-ball stay at the wicket.

Aravind, who came in as first change got one to move away from the left-hander as he offered an easy catch to wicketkeeper CM Gautam.

While Khurana primarily hit boundaries on the on-side, Jadhav scored all around the wicket. In an over from Vinay, Jadhav hit the Karnataka captain for three successive boundaries. First was a fierce square cut, followed by a forward defensive jab and the last one through the midwicket region.

In their third wicket partnership of 48 runs, Jadhav scored 37 before he was adjudged caught behind trying to flick a Mithun delivery. The batsman was clearly unhappy and the television replays showed that the ball brushed the pad-strap before being taken by keeper Gautam.

Coming in at No 5, Bawne was rock solid as he added 54 runs for the fourth wicket with Khurana.

Bawne was watchful to begin with and his first boundary came off the 24th when he hit Mithun straight down the ground and his second boundary came when he clipped Vinay through midwicket.

Meanwhile, the right-handed batsman reached his fifth first-class fifty off 126 balls. But he was unfortunate to fall to part-time spinner Nair trapped lbw for 64.

Once skipper Rohit Motwani (17) came in at the wicket, Bawne took charge. Bawne never looked uncomfortable against seamers while he did punish the loose deliveries bowled by spinners.

He showed positive intent even after Khurana's dismissal as Nair was hit for two boundaries - a paddle sweep followed by one through midwicket by rocking back.

His 15th first-class half-century was brought up when he came down the track to grill part-time legspinner Amit Verma through the extra cover region. His 50 came off 102 balls, which included six boundaries.

While Motwani played the second fiddle, the duo added 71 runs for the fifth wicket to take Maharashtra past the 200-run mark. Motwani was finally removed by Mithun who induced an edge and that was taken by Gautam behind the stumps.

In the next 17.5 overs, Maharashtra added another 57 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket stand with Bawne getting good support from last match's centurion Sangram Atitkar (29), who hit five boundaries in the process.

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Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 Australia 4320 108
3 England 5253 105
4 New Zealand 3449 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5442 111
5 Australia 5854 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 6095 265
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 5248 262
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