Bengal bowler Mukesh Kumar celebrates with his teammates after dismissing  Karnataka batsman Manish Pandey (L)
Bengal bowler Mukesh Kumar celebrates with his teammates after dismissing Karnataka batsman Manish Pandey (L)
PTI

In a Ranji Trophy thriller, Bengal's Mukesh Kumar and his career best six-wicket haul against Karnataka led his team to their first finals in 13 years. Bengal hammered their star-studded opponents by 174 runs.

With a target of 352, Karnataka batsmen failed to hold their ground and were dismissed for just 177. Karnataka's innings ended under 56 overs on the fourth day of the semi-final.

In the second innings, Kumar starred with the ball for Bengal as he scalped six wickets which included Karnataka's Manish Pandey (12) and star batter KL Rahul who managed to score just 26 runs in the match.

Eden Garden is the pitch for pacers as stats reveal that 20 batsmen were dismissed by pacers while zero by spinners.

Bengal had reached the finals during 2006/07, but they came up short against Mumbai. Now, Bengal would be looking to win the tournament for the first time since the 1989-90 season.

Bengal, who won their previous Ranji title during Sourav Ganguly's debut season way back in 1989-90, had lost to Mumbai by 132 runs in their last final appearance in 2007.

The winners of Gujarat and Saurashtra clash, underway in Rajkot, will face Bengal in the final from March 9 and it will be an away match for them.

(With inputs from agencies)

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