Ranji Trophy: Karnataka create history against Mumbai
After 22 unsuccessful attempts at upsetting Mumbai, Karnataka finally registered their first-ever outright win against the Ranji giants at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Wednesday, thereby qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Ranji Trophy. This is also Karnataka's fourth consecutive victory this season.
Karnataka rode on opener KL Rahul's splendid knock of 133, but were hampered by some fine bowling from the Mumbai bowlers. Barring Rahul, no other batsman survived long enough to give their side a chance of a big total. Shardul Thakur's reverse swing did the trick as he bagged 4 wickets to rattle Karnataka's batting line-up. Vishal Dabholkar supported ably from the other end, picking 2 wickets. The hosts were bundled out for 251 in their 1st innings.
Mumbai's response was poor. The openers fell cheaply to HS Sharath (5/57), while captain Wasim Jaffer went for a duck. Mumbai were 35/3 in no time. Hiken Shah (44) offered some resistance along with Siddhesh Lad (93), who missed out on a deserving ton. However, the bowlers got the better of them, reducing the visitors to 161/7. Lad stayed on and was supported by Javed Khan's fighting innings of 48, but it was all over as Sharath dismissed Lad to complete his maiden five-wicket haul in first-class cricket. Mumbai collapsed for 261.
Karnataka's 2nd innings set the tone for them as debutant opener R Samarth scored a patient 75, which was then backed by Manish Pandey's swashbuckling hundred (119). The duo displayed glimpses of attacking cricket, rendering Mumbai's bowlers helpless. This time, the middle-order chipped in with a few runs to ensure Karnataka get to a strong total. A late outburst from the Mumbai pacers led to Karnataka being dismissed for 299. Mumbai were set a target of 282.
Chasing a stiff total on the final day, Mumbai were 21-2 as Vinay Kumar exploited the new ball along with Abhimanyu Mithun, rocking Mumbai's top order. Jaffer once again fell too soon, leaving his side in disarray. Mumbai went from 93/4 to 93/7, before eventually folding for 121. Sharath scalped 3 wickets, while skipper Vinay led with 3 wickets. Karnataka won by 160 runs, as Mumbai suffered their first Ranji loss in six years.
Karnataka continue to top Group A, with 6 more points after an outright win, while Mumbai have slipped to third place behind Gujarat.
Brief Scores:Karnataka 251 (Rahul 133, Thakur 4-65) and 299 (Pandey 119) beat Mumbai 269 (Lad 93, Sharath 5-57) and 121 (Sharath 3-12, Vinay 3-32) by 160 runs