During a Ranji Trophy quarterfinal match on Tuesday, Karnataka's medium-pacer M Venkatesh shone with a five-wicket haul and helped the team restrict Uttarakhand to a low score of 116.
Venkatesh, who is 22 years old, played a key role in the successful bowling effort and justified his captain's decision to field first after winning the toss. He removed two top-order batsmen, Avneesh Sudha and Dikshanshu Negi, after Vidhwath Kaverappa got the first wicket.
The rest of the Uttarakhand batsmen struggled as well, with Vijaykumar Vyshak dismissing Swapnil Singh and Kaverappa getting rid of Aditya Tare. Kunal Chandela tried to steady the innings with 31 runs, but the wickets kept falling. Venkatesh returned to take two more wickets in the 47th over and K Gowtham cleaned up the tail with two more wickets.
In reply, Karnataka started their batting with ease as both openers, Ravikumar Samarth and Mayank Agarwal, scored the fifties and remained unbeaten. Samarth hit seven boundaries while Agarwal had nine boundaries and a six.
Parth Bhut shines for hosts
After winning the toss Saurashtra opted to bat first, but the decision backfired on them as they lost opener Harvik Desai in the first over of the contest. However, Snell Patel (70) and Vishvaraj Jadeja (28) recovered for the hosts before being struck back by the Punjab bowlers. No.8 Parth Bhut then proved to be the difference-maker as he smashed an unbeaten hundred to help his side to a total on excess of 300 as Saurashtra ended with 303 in their first innings.
Andhra make bright start
In the other game, Madhya Pradesh won the toss and opted to bowl first in the challenging conditions of Indore. However, Andhra batters made full use of the pitch which turned out to be batting friendly as Ricky Bhui top scored with 149 while Karan Shinde also brought up his ton t help the visitors put a total in excess of 300 before Stumps on Day 1.
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