Brief scores at stumps on Day 1
Karnataka 165/7 from 52 overs (Karun Nair 47, KV Siddharth 29, Soyeb Sopariya 3/40) lead Baroda 85 all-out from 33.5 overs (Ahmadnoor Pathan 45, Abhimanyu Mithun 3/26, Krishnappa Gowtham 3/25) by 80 runs.
Karnataka skipper Karun Nair's decision to bowl first proved to work wonders for the hosts as on the back of a collective performance from the Karnataka bowlers, Baroda were bundled out for just 85 on Day 1 of the Ranji Trophy 2019-20 clash at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
However, the Baroda bowlers also did well to keep constant pressure on the hosts batsmen, as despite Karnataka's 80-run lead, the hosts went into stumps at 165/7 with Srinivas Sharath (19*) and Abhimanyu Mithun (9*) occupying the crease and needing to score big on Day 2 and give their side a big lead to challenge for an outright win.
Earlier, making a return from a long injury lay-off, seamer Prasidh Krishna got the ball talking very early in the innings as he accounted for Kedar Devdhar in just the fourth over, inducing a knick off the right-hander's bat that was snaffled by Ravikumar Samarth at slips.
A little over five overs later, a similar delivery got rid of Vishnu Solanki for a duck as Deepak Hooda joined opener Ahmadnoor Pathan in the middle with Baroda's score reading 11/2 in the 10th over.
Abhimanyu Mithun picks three wickets in one over
The duo of Pathan and Hooda put on a 27-run partnership for the third wicket and provided resistance for 10 overs before Abhimanyu Mithun removed Hooda in the second ball of the 20th over. Baroda skipper Krunal Pandya walked in and was greeted by a quick bouncer, which the southpaw guided to the man at square leg to depart for a first-ball duck.
Although Mithun missed out on a well-deserved hat-trick, he struck in the fifth ball of the same over as a wild slash from Abhimanyu Rajput took the under edge of the bat and the catch was gleefully accepted by Srinivas Sharath behind the stumps.
In just one over, Mithun managed to break the backbone of the Baroda batting lineup and they were reduced to 38/5 with only opener Pathan standing tall at one end.
Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal wipe out the tail
Debutant Parth Kohli's rush of blood brought about his quick downfall as his attempt to step out and loft Krishnappa Gowtham over long-off saw him mistime the shot and offer a simple catch to Mithun at mid-off.
With Pathan losing partners quickly, the onus was on the southpaw to get his side to a modest total and although he did pick up a couple of quick boundaries, Karun Nair's ploy of spreading the field worked as a moment of brilliance from Pavan Deshpande at long on saw Pathan falling for 45 in the 31st over.
Gopal was introduced for his first over of the game in the 34th over and he dealt the final blow with his fifth ball, a straighter ball that breached through the defences of Sopariya and eventually saw Baroda fold for 85.
Baroda make early inroads, Nair and Siddharth bring about the first-innings lead
The Karnataka openers were more than happy to play out the new ball and avoid any early pressure, but their 18-run partnership was brought to an end in the 11th over as Devdutt Padikkal was castled for a 30-ball 6 by Abhimanyu Rajput.
KV Siddharth came in and picked up a couple of boundaries before Samarth edged one to the keeper and walked back for a patient 48-ball 11. However, in walked Karnataka skipper Karun Nair and in the company of Siddharth, the duo applied themselves extremely well to get Karnataka over the 50-run mark, with the scorecard reading 53/2 going into the tea break.
10 overs post the tea break, a nervy single from Nair brought about the crucial first-innings lead for his side in the 34th over but the joy was shortlived as KV Siddharth was sent back for a 72-ball 29 by left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt.
Sopariya, Bhatt pile pressure on Karnataka
Karun Nair's good start came to a screeching halt when the Karnataka skipper was bowled for a 75-ball 47 by Bhargav Bhatt and in the next over, pacer Sopariya had Deshpande edging to the keeper for an 18-ball 15.
With Karnataka in trouble at 110/5, Gopal walked in to join Sharath but the former looked to chase a wide delivery from Sopariya and offered yet another catch to Baroda keeper Bhosale for a first-ball duck.
In walked Krishnappa Gowtham, and despite a relatively slow start, the all-rounder collected three back-to-back boundaries off Bhatt in the 46th over and smashed Sopariya straight over his head for a six in the 47th over to add some crucial runs to the lead.
However, an attempt to guide a shortish delivery outside the off-stump from Sopariya towards third man saw Gowtham offer a regulation catch to the gully fielder and he fell for a 16-ball 27 with three fours and two sixes.
With a little less than 10 overs left in the day's play, Sharath and Mithun's watchful partnership ensured that Karnataka did not lose any more wickets, and the duo's 31-ball unbeaten 23-run partnership took their side to 165/7 at stumps.