Muralidharen Gautam smashed a brilliant double hundred to become the season's leading run scorer as Karnataka declared their first innings at a massive 572 for nine on the second day of their last Ranji Trophy group league match in Pune on Sunday.
The wicket-keeper batsman remained not out on 264 (464 balls; 32X4, 1X6), his second double ton in three matches. His total run tally this Ranji season has risen to 912 and he surpassed Parthiv Patel during today's innings. He had scored 257 against Vidarbha two matches back in Mysore.
Gautam was ably supported by captain Stuart Binny, who hit a 272-ball 168 with the help of 19 fours and two sixes. The duo put on 340 runs for the fifth wicket to take control of the Group B match at Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium.
Resuming at 306 for four, the visitors added 266 runs on Sunday in 69.5 overs for the loss of five wickets with Gautam and Binny scoring the bulk of the runs.
After Binny was out in the second session, Gautam carried on and stitched another 98 runs for the sixth wicket with Amit Verma (42) to take Karnataka's score past 500.
For Maharashtra, pacer Samad Fallah was the most successful bowler of the day as he bagged two wickets, including that of Binny which broke the big partnership for the fifth wicket.
In reply, Maharashtra were 58 for one in 16 overs with Harshad Khadiwale and Sangram Dilp Atitkar batting on 31 and six respectively.
Karnataka (1st Innings): 572 for 9 decl in 158.5 overs (Muralidharen Gautam 264 not out, Stuart Binny 168; Samad Fallah 2/82).