New Delhi: Stuart Binny celebrated his maiden call-up into the Indian team with a scintillating 88 as table toppers Karnataka asserted their supremacy with a solid performance reaching 226 for 5 at stumps on the second day of their final Ranji Trophy encounter against hosts Delhi who are almost out of the race for a quarter-final spot.
Karnataka now have a lead of 24 runs and have ensured three points from the game.
After the match started an hour and half late due to bad light, Karnataka opener Karun Nair batted well for his patient unbeaten knock of 92 while Binny attacked the spinners hitting some effortless sixes off the spinners to score 88 off 94 balls.
The Binny-Nair duo added 127 runs in quick time especially after Karnataka were reduced to 73 for 4 with Mayank Agarwal (2), R Samarth (13), Manish Pandey (8) and Abrar Kazi (11) all back in the hut.
It was Binny who brought some life into the match as he hit Varun Sood for three sixes - two over long on and another over long off. Another six came off Manoj Chauhan who rarely got his length right. In all, he batted for 94 balls hitting four fours.
While Nair was content in taking singles and hitting the odd boundaries in between, Binny was in his free flowing self.
During tea-break, he got the news of his selection and post break completed his 50. As if to celebrate the selection, he hit Manan Sharma over extra cover for a fifth six as they completed their century partnership in the 62nd over.
With Delhi bowlers getting very little assistance from the track, Karnataka batsmen had little difficulty in negotiating the bowling. Initially, umpires didn't allow the pacers to bowl with new ball which meant spinners operated at the beginning. This also released a bit of pressure.
The talk about having a rank turner turned out to be false as hardly couple of deliveries turned and most of them kept low. Left-arm spinner Sood got Kazi and Pandey with two such deliveries that kept low.
However, once Binny came into the picture, he changed the course of the game with his hard hitting. Within no time, he reached 40s and suddenly the pressure was back on Delhi. There were lofted shots, drives on the up as well as couple of late cuts off Manan, who was also hit for couple of big sixes.
At one point of time, Binny overtook Nair when they were in 60's. Nair reached 80's when he hooked Nehra for a six and then swept Manoj to overtake Delhi's first innings score of 202.
Brief scores: Delhi 202; Karnataka 226/5 (Karun Nair 92, Stuart Binny 88).
Dewan's ton guides Haryana to a strong position against Odisha
At Bhubaneswar, opener Rahul Dewan smashed an unbeaten century to take Haryana to a commanding position against hosts Odisha in an inconsequential Group A match of the Ranji Trophy on Monday.
Placed seventh and last in the nine-team Group A, Odisha and Haryana are already out of the quarter-final reckoning but both the teams would be hoping to end their Ranji campaign this season on a positive note.
Dewan made an unconquered 136 off 253 balls with the help of 19 boundaries, while Sachin Rana was unbeaten on strokeful 83 off 103 balls and Avi Barot scored 60 off 91 balls as Haryana took the vital first innings lead over Odisha.
Replying top Odisha's 242 all out, Haryana were 294 for 2 at stumps on the second day of the four-day match at the East Coast Railway Sports Association ground.
Dewan and Barot made a strong start to Haryana's reply, stitching 143 runs for the opening stand before Rana joined hands with Dewan and the duo shared an unbroken 141-run third-wicket partnership to take the visitor's forward.
For Odisha, Offspinner Niranjan Behera (2 for 48) accounted for both the Haryana wickets to fall on Tuesday.
Earlier, resuming their innings at the overnight score of 221 for 9, the last wicket pair of Odisha added 21 more runs before being bowled out.
Brief Scores: Odisha: 242 all out in 100.3 overs (Girja Rout 94; Amit Mishra 4/83, Jayant Yadav 3/51); Haryana: 294 for two in 77 overs (Rahul Dewan 136 not out, Sachin Rana not out; Niranjan Behera 2/48)
Punjab in complete control against Jharkhand
At Dhanbad, Punjab's Rajwinder Singh and Gurkeerat Singh claimed four wickets each to put Jharkhand on the mat in their Ranji Trophy Group A match, after their batsmen put on a mammoth 516 in the first innings.
Jharkhand, in reply, were struggling at 210 for 9 after getting off to a decent start. The hosts lost the last seven wickets for just 29 runs to give Punjab complete control of the match at the end of day two at the Railway stadium here.
Jharkhand were 173 for 2 when opener Rameez Nemat (81) was run out by Yuvraj Singh.
Spinners Rajwinder (4 for 66) and Gurkeerat (4 for 36) wreaked havoc as Jharkhand batsmen failed to negotiate the two.
The duo produced a fine spell of spin bowling in the closing overs of the day to leave Jharkhand reeling at 202 for 9.
Ishank Jaggi (51) and Rameez, who hit 11 boundaries, put on a 91-run stand for the second wicket, while Saurabh Tiwary made 30.
Earlier, Siddarth Kaul (50) scored a half-century to guide his side over the 500-run mark after starting the day on 380 for four.
For Jharkhand, spinner Shahbaz Nadeem picked four scalps while Samar Quadri and Varun Aaron finished with three and two wickets respectively.
Brief Scores: Punjab 1st innings: 516 all out in 117.5 overs (Manan Vora 187, Jiwanjot Singh 78; Shahbaz Nadeem 4/165); Jharkhand 1st inings: 210/9 in 58 overs (Rameez Nemat 81, Ishank Jaggi 51; Gurkeerat 4/36)