All-rounder Stuart Binny stamped his class by hitting a sparkling unbeaten century as Karnataka took firm grip of the Irani Trophy match against Rest of India (ROI) with a 189-run first innings lead in Bangalore on Monday.
Binny stole the show with his 107-ball 115 not out as Karnataka reached a comfortable 390 for five at the close of second day's play. C M Gautam was giving him company at the other end on six when the stumps were drawn.
Karun Nair (92) and Ganesh Satish (84) were the other notable contributors as they plundered useful runs to enable Karnataka take an upper hand.
With Ganesh losing his wicket soon after tea, Binny along with Nair added 187 runs for the fifth wicket to almost bat the visiting side out of the match on a greenish Chinnaswamy strip.
Looking in great touch, Binny smashed 14 boundaries and three sixes during his unbeaten knock. The Karnataka all-rounder reached his century in style, smashing the ball to deep square-leg for a couple off Pankaj Singh.
Nair played the perfect foil as he scored valuable runs in their match-turning partnership that helped Karnataka get past the RoI first innings total of 201.
Besides technique and temperament, Nair's innings had its fair share of flair. He was flawless and played a calculated innings. While Binny was all aggression as he attacked every RoI bowlers including Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra and Ashoke Dinda.
Nair, who was castled by Pankaj, missed his hundred by just eight runs, which could have been his fourth succession ton. He blasted 12 fours during his 161-ball knock.
Earlier, starting the day at 35 for one, in-form batsman Ganesh, along with his overnight partner Lokesh Rahul (35) stitched 75 runs for the second wicket, before putting on 61 for the third wicket with Manish Pandey (36).
Ganesh, a big match player and having scored 117 in Ranji finals against Maharashtra, struck 11 boundaries in his 180-ball knock.
As far as RoI bowling was concerned, Dinda (1-93) and Pankaj Singh (2-78) were great disappointments as they were inconsistent with their length on a pitch, where R Vinay Kumar and Binny extracted help the previous day.
Even Harbhajan Singh (1-56) and leg spinner Amit Mishra, could not make any impression, initially though they prevailed over the home side after they had picked Rahul early on.
Almost all bowlers were smashed all over the park, except Anureet (1-78), who bowled magnificently without much support from the other end.
Rest of India 1st innings: 201
Karnataka 1st innings (Resuming from 35/1):
Robin Uthappa c Jadhav b Dinda 0
Lokesh Rahul b Anureet Singh 35
Ganesh Satish c Jadhav b Harbhajan Singh 84
Manish Pandey c Karthik b Pankaj Singh 36
Karun Nair b Pankaj Singh 92
Stuart Binny batting 115
CM Gautam batting 6
Extras (B-16, LB-2, NB-4) 22
Total (for five wickets in 98 overs) 390
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-75, 3-136, 4-188, 5-375.
Bowling: Ashok Dinda 23-5-93-1; Pankaj Singh 23-6-78-2; Anureet Singh 21-5-78-1; Amit Mishra 14-2-56-0; Harbhajan Singh 14-2-56-1; Baba Aparajith 3-1-11-0.