Lokesh Rahul belts 337 as Karnataka take control
Opener Lokesh Rahul slammed a triple century (337, 448b, 47×4, 4×6) as defending champions Karnataka flogged Uttar Pradesh attack to pile up 719 for nine declared in their first innings on the second day of the Group A Ranji Trophy league match on Friday.Resuming at their overnight total of 326 for four, Karnataka lost Shreyas Gopal (90, 144b, 15×4), who added just two runs to his score, in the third over of the day, but by then, he had added 180 runs for the fifth wicket with 22-year-old Rahul. Rahul, who was 150 overnight, hardly missed a beat as he put on 105 runs for the sixth wicket with C.M. Gautam (57, 73, 11×4) and 236 for the seventh with Abrar Kazi (117 not out, 190b, 14×4, 4×6) to ground the UP bowling to the dust.Rahul’s chanceless marathon effort stretching over 671 minutes finally ended when he became one of Praveen Kumar’s five victims, but by then, Karnataka had taken firm control of the game. In the course of becoming the first player from Karnataka to score a triple century in first-class cricket, Rahul went past Barrington Rolland’s 283 to become his State’s highest run-scorer in the Indian domestic circuit.