Bangalore:Karnataka have put one foot in the Ranji Trophy final after taking a massive 410-run overall lead against Uttar Pradesh at the end of day three of their semifinal clash here on Tuesday.
Sustained fiery fast bowling spells by Abhimanyu Mithun (4/21) decimated Uttar Pradesh as they collapsed for 208 while pursuing Karnataka's imposing 575 for 7 declared and ended up conceding a whopping first innings lead of 367 runs.
The visitors could have been bundled for a total below 200, but for Praveen Kumar's breezy 58 not out, studded with four boundaries and five sixes.
Batting a second time round, Karnataka made a 43 for three as Piyush Chawla (3 for 9) ripped through the top order, accounting for Robin Uthappa (18), KB Pawan (16) and Manish Pandey (4).
In effect, Karnataka are ahead by 410 runs with seven wickets in hand.
Barring a miracle only two results are possible on Wednesday, the last day of the tie. Either a Karnataka win or a draw and both the cases the hosts would be through to the final.
Mithun was UP's tormentor-in-chief, scalping four wickets at the expense of 21 runs from 18 overs to take his season's tally to 38.