Bengaluru: After being dismissed for a paltry 202 in their first innings, Karnataka hit back strongly with skipper and seamer R. Vinay Kumar taking six wickets to bundle out Mumbai for 44 in just 15.3 overs on the first day of the five-day Ranji Trophy semifinal match here Wednesday.
In all, 21 wickets fell on a green top pitch and in near perfect conditions for batting as Mumbai collapsed for their second lowest-ever total, just two runs more than the 42 they made against Gujarat in the 1977-78 season. Mumbai's woes were compounded by the absence of Abhishek Nayar who did not bat owing to an injury.
However, Mumbai struck twice at the fag end of the day when seamer Shardul Thakur, who had taken four wickets earlier, had opener Robin Uthappa (4) holing out to mid-on and Balwinder Singh Sandhu derived late movement to induce a nick from Lokesh Rahul (2) for a simple catch behind the stumps as the hosts made 10 for two in their second innings for an overall lead of 168.
Vinay, in an inspired opening spell, was twice on a hat-trick as he moved the ball both ways to rip through the Mumbai top-order, while his new ball partner Abhimanyu Mithun chipped in with one and the third seamer Sreenath Arvind picked up two.
The Mumbai batsmen were consumed by their own demons as well as the Karnataka seamers bowled. Skipper Aditya Tare (9) was perhaps unlucky to be given out caught behind off Vinay Kumar, but otherwise, majority of the Mumbai batsmen were clueless in dealing with movement.
Overall, it was a shockingly pathetic display by Mumbai batsmen most of whom did not apply themselves and were out to some poor shots or playing down the wrong line to be leg-before as only two Shreyas Iyer (15) and Surya Kumar Yadav (12) reached double figures and five others failed to break the duck.
Earlier, Uthappa's fifth half-century (68, 10x4, 1x6) of the season was the only saving grace for Karnataka decided to bat first on winning the toss. Some useful contribution from Manish Pandey (34) and Karun Nair (49 not out, 7x4, 1x6) propped up the innings which ended on 202 in the 61st over.
To say the least, Karnataka batsmen, save the likes of Uthappa, Pandey and Nair, were rather disappointing on a green top that though held no terrors, barring an occasional inconsistent bounce.
Mumbai bowlers stuck to their task with Thakur yet again being their main strike bowler. He drew first blood in the morning by setting up Rahul for a hook shot that went straight to fine-leg fielder Balwinder.
Thereafter, it was a bit of struggle for the hosts who lost Ravikumar Samarth (3) to a run out. Pandey and Uthappa retried the situation with an 81-run partnership for the third wicket.
Once the partnership was broken when Uthappa fell just before lunch, Karnataka lost wickets in a heap and though Nair batted resolutely, there was not much resistance from the other batsmen as Mumbai dismissed the hosts for 202.
Karnataka (1st innings): 202 all out in 60.2 overs (Robin Uthappa 68, Manish Pandey 34, Karun Nair 49 not out, Shardul Thakur 4 for 61, Wilkin Mota 2 for 18) and 10 for 2 in 5 overs vs Mumbai (1st innings): 44 all out in 15.3 overs (Vinay Kumar 6 for 20, Sreenath Arvind 2 for 1).