Hubli, Dec. 19: All-rounder Shreyas Gopal struck a gritty half century, as hosts Karnakata managed to take the crucial first-innings lead against Uttar Pradesh on the third day of their Elite Group B Ranji Trophy match here on Thursday.
Courtesy Gopal's patient 58 off 182 balls, the hosts managed to take a slender 40-run first innings lead. In case of a draw, the first innings lead matters, as the team which gets it, earns points.
Gopal's knock meant that Karnataka first passed the UP total and then their bowlers J Suchith (28 off 120 balls) and Abhimanyu Mithun (34 not out), also contributed with the bat and scored valuable runs.
Karnataka were eventually bowled out for 321. Uttar Pradesh made 281 in their first essay.
Karnataka resumed the third day on their overnight score of 168/4, with Abhishek Reddy (32 off 102 balls) and Shreyas Gopal (58 off 182 balls) at the crease.
While Reddy fell early, Gopal held one end and hit six boundaries in his knock. Reddy and Gopal conjured a 38-run stand for the fifth wicket before Reddy was caught by Rinku Singh off slow left-arm bowler Saurabh Kumar (6-116).
Then Uttar Pradesh dismissed rival wicket-keeper B R Sharath (16) and David Mathais (4) in quick succession to peg back the visitors.
However, then Suchith joined hands with Gopal, and the two not only frustrated the UP bowlers, but also took the team on the cusp of getting the first inning lead.
Suchith hit two boundaries. When Gopal fell, Karnataka were 279-8, just two runs behind Uttar Pradesh's first innings total.
Later, Mithun, who had bagged six wickets, also made a fine unbeaten 34.
In their second essay, Uttar Pradesh was teetering at 29/1, having lost their opener Aryan Juyal (0). Juyal had made a hundred in the first innings.
The visitors trail Karnataka by 11 runs and will need to bat throughout the fourth and final day to avoid defeat.
Brief Scores: Uttar Pradesh 281 and 29/1 (Madhav Kaushik 19 not out; Ronit More 1-16) versus Karnataka 321 (Devdutt Padikkal 74, Shreyas Gopal 58, Saurabh Kumar 6-116). Uttar Pradesh trailed by 11 runs.
At Visakhapatnam: Railways 248 and 27/1 versus Saurashtra 479/9 Declared (Arpit Vasavada 134 not out, Cheteshwar Pujara 69; D Jadeja 66; Karn Sharma 4-105). Railways trailed by 204 runs.
At Dindigul: Himachal Pradesh 158 and 154 (S Verma 36, Rishi Dhawan 35, R Ashwin 4-55, T Natarajan 2-19) versus Tamil Nadu 96 and 145 (K Mukunth 48, Akash Vashisht 7-33, Rishi Dhawan 1-13). Himachal Pradesh won by 71 runs.
At Indore: Madhya Pradesh 125 and 270 (Ajay Rohera 64, Anand Bais 45;L Meriwala 3-59, Abhimanyusingh 2-26) versus Baroda 222 and 114/4 (Kedar Devdhar 48, Aditya Waghmode 22; Gourav Yadav 2-51). Baroda need 60 runs to win.