New Delhi, Jan 1 (IANS) Table toppers Karnataka are on course for another victory in Group A of the Ranji Trophy after their pacers rocked the star-studded Delhi batting line-up on Day 3 at the Ferozeshah Kotla here Wednesday.
The hosts ended the day reeling at 132/6 in their second innings, effectively 45 runs ahead of the opposition. Ronit More (3/27) struck thrice while pacer H.S. Sharath (2/24) took a couple before bad light brought the day’s play to a premature end.
Karnataka, resuming the day at 226/5, extended their first innings lead to 87 runs before being bowled out for 289 in the morning session. Karun Nair, who was 92 not out at stumps Tuesday, went on to make 105 off 232 balls for his maiden first class hundred.
Delhi had a glimmer of hope to make the quarters going into this final league game here, but that evaporated when Punjab beat Jharkhand in Dhanbad to advance in the competition. Karnataka are already through while the fight for the third spot from Group A is between Gujarat and Mumbai.
Delhi’s chances of staying in the game depended a lot on India discards Gautam Gambhir (26 off 40) and Virender Sehwag (11 off 34). The celebrated pair struggled to cope against the Karnataka speedsters, especially Sharath.
The lanky pacer trapped Sehwag and Gambhir leg before in quick succession to leave Delhi at 41/2. More found the pads of Manan Sharma three balls later and it was 41/3.
Gambhir ended the season with 578 runs from 13 innings at an average of 48.16 while it was a sorry campaign for Sehwag, who could only collect 234 runs from 13 innings at 19.50.
Mithun Manhas (32) and Rajat Bhatia (30) fought it out in the middle but it was not enough to bail Delhi out of trouble.