|Ground:||Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai|
|Scorecard:||Mumbai v Karnataka|
|Player:||KB Pawan, RS Dravid|
|Event:||Ranji Trophy 2007/08|
Mumbai, Nov 5 Rahul Dravid gave a befitting answer to his critics with a chanceless unbeaten 77 as he along with K B Pawan (76 batting) led the Karnataka fightback against Mumbai on the third day of the four-day Elite Division group 'A' Ranji trophy match at the Wankhede stadium here today.
The two shared an unbeaten 126 run partnership for the second wicket as Karnataka replied with 195 for one in their second innings after conceding a 142 run first innings lead at close of play on the third day.
Dravid with 77 and K B Pawan with 76 were still holding fort when stumps were called with Karnataka ahead by 53 runs in the second innings after wiping out the first innings deficit.
Earlier, resuming at 302 for 7, Mumbai added 35 more runs before being bowled out for 337 with R Vinay Kumar taking all the three wickets to fall.
Karnataka openers B Rowland and K B Pawan gave them a sound start putting on 69 runs for the first wicket before Rowland was dismissed being bowled of an inside edge as he went for an extravagant drive on the off side of the bowling of R Varma. Rowland made 40 in just 72 balls with five thunderous boundaries included in it.
Dravid then came in to join K B Pawan and the two took the match to the defending champions as they grinded out the attack giving them not a semblance of a chance on a wicket which was aiding the spinners.
Dravid answered his critics in the only possible way playing a flawless innings and along with Pawan made sure that they would came out of this match with atleast a point for a drawn match which is where this match is heading now with just a day remaining.
The former India captain smarting from being left out of the Indian team for the first two ODIs against Pakistan began with an ondrive of R Varma and then played a superb off drive of spinner Ramesh Powar to set the tone.
Both the players showed a lot of patience as runs were hard to come by. Pawan, however reached his 50 with a huge six of Powar over mid wicket. His 50 came in a stay of 151 minutes after facing 106 balls and was studded by six fours and a six.
Dravid at the other end did not lose out any opportunity of scoring hitting Ramesh Powar for two consecutive sixes over the long on fence, the second one crashing against the window of the press box. He also soon reached his 50 with a late cut of Agarkar. His 50 came in 116 balls and was inclusive of six boundaries and two sixes.
Pawan and Dravid soon brought up the 100 partnership to frustrate the Mumbai bowlers who had no luck at all as the two displayed batsmanship of the highest order to take Karnataka to relative safety of being able to force a draw.