Skipper R Vinay Kumar led from the front with some devastating bowling and picked up a six-wicket haul including a hat-trick to help Karnataka bundle out Mumbai for 173 in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final that began in Nagpur on Thursday. Kumar, who made most of the conditions which aided pace bowling after inserting Mumbai in on winning the toss, returned with impressive figures of 6 for 34, including the hat-trick completed in two overs, as 41-time champions Mumbai crumbled in only 56 overs on the day one of the five-day match at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha.
To continue their domination, Karnataka replied with 115 for 1 by stumps, as they placed themselves 58 runs adrift of Mumbai with their in-form opener Mayank Agarwal unbeaten on 62 in 83 balls with M Abbas (12 not out) for the company.
Karnataka, who topped Group A, are all set to take the first innings lead.
Kumar also became the third bowler to complete a hat-trick against Mumbai, the other two being B Kalyanasundaram for Tamil Nadu in the 1972-73 Ranji final and Raghuram Bhat for Karnataka in the 1981-82 season.
He became the sixth bowler to take a hat-trick in the knock-out stage of the national championship, the last one to achieve the distinction being S Sen Sharma for Bengal against Delhi in the pre-quarterfinal of the 1993-94 season.
Kumar wreaked havoc on the Mumbai batting line-up as he removed young and in-form opener Prithvi Shaw (2), edging to first slip Karun Nair, with the last ball of his first over with the score on 6.
Then with the first ball of his next over, he dismissed the other opener Jay Bista (1) in a similar fashion and then completed his hat-trick by trapping Akash Parkar (0) in front of the wicket to reduce Mumbai to 7 for 3.
Kumar later scalped Siddhesh Lad, Akhil Herwadkar and Karsh Kothari to complete his devastating spell.
Mumbai were struggling at 74 for 7 before medium pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, who came in to bat at number nine, counter-attacked with a knock of 75 in 132 balls, to take his team beyond the 150-run mark.
Kulkarni struck nine fours and two sixes. The only other notable contribution came from seasoned Herwadkar (32 off 75 balls).
Siddesh Lad, Mumbai's crisis man this season, also was out cheaply for 8 while skipper Aditya Tare's poor run with the bat continued as he fell for 4.
Kumar was well supported by Sreenath Arvind (2-45) and Abhimanyu Mithun (1-31).
Scores: Mumbai 173 all out (Dhawal Kulkarni 75, Akhil Herwadkar 32; R Vinay Kumar 6-34) v Karnataka 115 for 1 (Mayank Agarwal 62 not out, M Abbas 12 not out).
(With PTI Inputs)