Ranji Trophy: In-form Prasidh’s day out puts Karnataka in command against J&K

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  Two halves of Prasidh Krishna’s spell made all the difference for Karnataka. If the first half of it made them look nervous, by the end of the second half they were in total control of their second round Ranji Trophy match against Jammu and Kashmir as Karnataka were 337 runs ahead at the end of Day 2 on Friday.  

The conditions at the IIT-Chemplast ground in Chennai, where the summer is beginning to set in, was far from being pleasant. The heat one usually associates with the city was beginning to be felt. So, under a harsh sun with Karnataka having only 302 runs on board in the first innings, they needed their bowlers to rescue them.

The pitch was full of runs and Jammu & Kashmir openers Qamran Iqbal and Jatin Wadhwan showed no real signs of discomfort in the middle as Karnataka’s new ball bowlers Prasidh and Ronit More struggled to find rhythm.

The sun was only getting harsher by the minute as boundaries flew off the bat. Iqbal, especially, stood out with his cover drives and a casual flick, which sent the ball soaring over fine-leg.

That all of it was against Prasidh showed his touch of class as Jammu and Kashmir raced to 50 inside 10 overs.

To make things worse for Karnataka, More walked off after sending the first ball of his fifth over with a back spasm.

Other attacks would have thrown in the towel. Especially fast bowlers. Given the circumstances of playing red-ball cricket after two years, many pacers have withheld themselves from bowling long spells.

Physios and strength and conditioning coaches are handling them with care.

But in Prasidh, Karnataka had a trump card. In the ODI against West Indies, he had sent down 10, 9 and 8.1 overs respectively, but was far from being a well-oiled machine that captains want their fast bowlers to be.

In the first six overs, Prasidh struggled to find that rhythm and the right areas to bowl on this pitch as his figures read 6-0-26-0.

“I was looking to get into the groove. Trying to figure out the right lengths on this pitch. I was just trying to hit the right lengths and I knew once I found it, it was all about consistency. It took me a few overs,” Prasidh said about his first half of his spell.

By his fifth over, you could see something beginning to change. Prasidh slowly, yet steadily, was not just hitting the ball in the right areas but getting that extra-bounce that makes him so menacing.

After a couple of deliveries nearly found Wadhwan’s edge in his six over, the first ball of his seventh kissed the outside edge to give Karnataka their first break-through.

That opened the floodgates. In his eighth over, left-hander Shubham Singh edged to Devdutt Padikkal at second slip. In his ninth over, he trapped Iqbal LBW to earned a well-earned lunch break.

And in his 10th over, Parvez Rasool was caught at point – extra-bounce doing the trick — and Fazil Rashid for his fifth wicket. Off his 11th over, he had Abdul Samad edge one to first slip as Jammu & Kashmir lost seven wickets for 20 runs.

Prasidh’s second half of the spell read: 6-1-9-6. Shreyas Gopal, Vidhyadhar Patil and K Gowtham did the rest to give Karnataka a 209-run lead.

“Experience,” Prasidh said when asked about what he did differently.

“I was prepared for this. With Manish (Pandey) being the captain, I expected nothing less. He always wants the fast bowlers to do it. And I’ve done it a couple of times before. So I knew it would be eight-nine overs, but as I kept getting wickets and also had a lunch break in between, I was ok bowling such a long spell. It is mind over matter,” he said.

The lead stretched to 337 by stumps on Day 2 as R Samarth (62), Devdutt Padikkal (49) played their role to perfection as Karnataka were 128/2 in the second innings.

Full story: newindianexpress.com

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