The night Drona died, Duryodhana consults his commanders about the future. Ashwatthama suggests that Karna be appointed as chief of the kaurava army. Duryodhana agrees and speaks to Karna 'I know of your valor and the love and affection you have for me. Great warriors Bhishma and Drona who commanded our army are no more. Now I want you to be the chief. You are stronger than them and you are not old! In addition, they were partial to Arjuna. I honored them as chiefs as per your wish. If anyone can give me victory, it is you, there is no doubt about it. Once you enter the battlefield, pandavas and panchalas tremble.
Karna accepts gladly and the next morning he adapts the Alligator formation and positions himself in the mouth. The eyes are occupied by Sakuni and Uluka and Duryodhana is in the middle of the formation. Arjuna chooses the half-moon shape, Bheema and Dhristadhyumna are at either end and Dharmaraja and Arjuna are in the middle.
The war begins to the sound of conchs and drums. Bheema kills Khsemadoorthy, Satyaki takes care of Vindanuvinda. Bheema and Ashwatthama then confront each other and as both faint in the conflict, they are taken away by their charioteers. Nakula is defeated by Karna and is driven away by Karna as he does not want to kill him. There were huge losses on both sides due to power and bravery of both Arjuna and Karna. Soon the sun sets and kauravas get back to their camps as they are afraid of more losses. Pandavas think that the day belongs to them.
Karna meets Duryodhana in the camp later and shows he is very upset. 'Arjuna no doubt is very skilled and is full of courage, more than that he has Krishna as his charioteer. He is cautioned by Krishna time and again, hence we could not make much headway today'. He consoles Duryodhna with, 'I will see that none of his plans work tomorrow!'