Karnataka stun Mumbai

The hosts register a historic win over the defending champs to reach knockout stage Vinay Kumar bowled his heart out, troubling the top order Mumbai batsmen with his deadly swingers just outside the off-stump. He had an astonishing first spell, where he claimed two for 10 in seven overs, which drifted the game away from Mumbai.

Bangalore: R Vinay Kumar and HS Sharath shared six wickets between them on the fourth and final day to score a historic 160-run win over defending champions Mumbai in their Ranji Trophy Group A match and book a berth in the knockout stage of the tournament.

Karnataka stun Mumbai

Having earned six points from this game, Karnataka have now moved to 32 points from seven matches, and are placed at the top of the table. Karnataka still have one game left in the league stage. They will face a formidable Delhi in their last league match away from home.

Mumbai, with 23 points from seven matches, are at number three position in the table, while Gujarat are at second spot, three points ahead of the defending champions. Mumbai will have a tough task at hands in their last league encounter when they will take on Gujarat. There is a danger of Punjab shattering Mumbai’s dreams of qualifying for the knockout stage because they have as many points as Mumbai and will be taking on an out-of-contention Jharkhand in their final league match.

Karnataka scored 251 in their first innings and in reply Mumbai were all out for 269, taking a vital 18-run lead. In their second innings, Karnataka made a disastrous start losing two wickets for 32, but Ravikumar Samarth’s half century and Manish Pandey’s match-winning 119 helped the hosts score 299, hence setting Mumbai a target of 282 runs.

Mumbai were bundled out for a meagre 121 in their second stint to give Karnataka an historic occasion to celebrate. Never in Ranji history did Karnataka score an outright win over Mumbai. Karnataka’s bowling was led by pacers Vinay Kumar and Sharath, both of whom scalped three wickets each. They well very well supported by India discard Abhimanyu Mithun (2/28) and leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal (2/13). Vinay Kumar bowled his heart out, troubling the top order Mumbai batsmen with his deadly swingers just outside the off-stump. He had an astonishing first spell, where he claimed two for 10 in seven overs, which drifted the game away from Mumbai.

Mumbai got off to a poor start in their run chase as they lost eight wickets for 100 runs. Doraiswamy Subramanian (13) and Kaustubh Pawar failed to give Mumbai a good start.Much was expected from their captain Wasim Jaffer and Aditya Tare, who have been among runs for Mumbai this season, but they also failed to live up to the expectations.

Jaffer (3), especially was a great disappointment, getting out leg before rooted in the crease twice in the match against Sharath in the first innings and Abhimanyu Mithun in the second. Tare, who also scored just 18 runs in the first innings, was cleaned up for zero by Vinay.

When the right-handed Siddesh Lad joined Hiken Shah, Mumbai were struggling at 50 for four but both put on a fight to take the total to 93, before they were dropped twice during their knocks. Karnataka, with their attacking field placements and bowling, dealt three blows on the same score, sending back Shah (28), Lad (24) and Suryakumar Yadav (0) back to the pavillion.

Thereafter, the hosts skittled out the visitors by removing Saurabh Netrawalkar (0), Shardul Thakur (10) and Javed Khan (15), cheaply. Earlier, Karnataka after resumed at an overnight second innings score of 287 for eight, could add just 12 more runs to the total before losing the last two batsmen.

Delhi lose to Punjab

Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag couldn’t stand up and be counted when it mattered the most as Punjab recorded one of the most inspiring victories in recent times beating Delhi by 98 runs in a Ranji Trophy group league game to keep their quarterfinal hopes alive.

Chasing a target of 327, Delhi were all out for 228 on the final day with Rajat Bhatia scoring a gutsy hundred on a difficult track.Punjab will take a lot of positives from this game as despite being shot out for 74 in the first innings, they came back to win the match.

Punjab now have 23 points from seven games and will be aiming for six points as they try to get a last-eight berth.
For Delhi, it’s almost end of the road as they are at fifth place with 19 points and even an outright win with bonus points against Karnataka won’t ensure a knock-out berth.

Delhi began the day at 60 for three and Gambhir (30) poked at an away going delivery from Manpreet Gony to Gurkeerat Singh in the slip-cordon.Virender Sehwag (12) played a nice drive off Gony and also fended a short ball that sailed over slips for another four. But he again disappointed trying to hit Jaskaran Singh over mid-on. However, trying to check his shot, the ball just lobbed towards mid-on for a simple catch. With Gambhir and Sehwag out in the first session, Delhi were reduced to 82 for five. But nightwatchman Ashish Nehra (16, 128 balls) showed a lot of character as he was involved in a 82-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Bhatia.

Bhatia, who hit his 14th first-class hundred, faced 182 balls laced with 16 fours in the process.Once off-spinner Gurkeerat Singh removed Nehra and wicketkeeper-batsman Rahul Yadav (0) off successive deliveries, victory was just a matter of time. It was Bhatia, who was the last man to be dismissed when he edged a Gony delivery to wicketkeeper Gitansh Khera.
Opener Jiwanjot Singh, whose century was the game changer, said that it was satisfying to score a ton that helped Punjab in such a big victory.

“Our hopes of qualifying for the quarterfinals are alive after this win. This century is satisfying as the wicket was difficult to bat on and the opposition had quality bowlers. Also a lot of people said that opposition will sort me out in my second season. So it was a big boost to my confidence. Also words of encouragement from coach Bhupinder Singh Senior helped,” Jiwanjot told reporters at the end of the match.

Bhatia, who batted with lot of focus despite taking a lot of blows on the body, said that not being able to score more than 150 in the first innings hurt Delhi.”When we had the opponents out for 74, we shouldn’t have taken the foot off the pedal. We had no business to get only 76-run first innings lead. The wicket was difficult but we should have at least scored more than 200. That would have released the pressure,” a dejected Bhatia said.

“I took four blows on my body. The most painful one was the fifth, which is this defeat. This is something that I am finding difficult to digest.”

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