Karnataka beat Mumbai to enter Ranji Trophy final
Bengaluru, Feb 28 (IANS) Defending champions Karnataka completed the formalities to register a 112-run win over Mumbai and enter the final of the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament for the 14th time here on Saturday.
Mumbai, chasing a victory target of 445, were all out for 332 about an hour into the fourth and penultimate day of the semi-final when seamer Sreenath Arvind had overnight batsman Siddhesh Lad (74, 8x4, 1x6) caught behind.
Resuming at their overnight total of 277 for six, Mumbai tried to fight back at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. But Karnataka struck early when Balwinder Singh Sandhu, replacing an unwell Abhishek Nayar, was trapped in front by Abhimanyu Mithun. Mithun thus finished with four wickets for a fine all-round performance, having made 89 in Karnataka's second innings.
At the other end, leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal induced a nick from Shardul Thakur, who was caught in the slips. This was before Lad was caught behind, fending a short ball from Sreenath Arvind as Karnataka completed a fine win. Karnataka skipper R. Vinay Kumar, while complimenting his team members for contributing at vital moments, admitted that the batting was still a concern.
"We have shown that we can bat till No.11 and I am happy with the attitude we showed despite being all out for 202 in the first innings," said Vinay, who was named Man-of-the-Match for his 6-for-20 effort that saw Mumbai tumble to 44 all out in their first innings.
"Yes, there are a few areas we need to improve. We have to come together as a batting unit."
Karnataka, winners of the Ranji Trophy seven times, now await the winners of the other ongoing semifinal between Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. The final, slated for March 8-12, will be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Brief scores: Karnataka 202 and 286 beat Mumbai 44 and 332 all out in 121.1 overs (Aditya Tare 98, Akhil Herwadkar 31, Shreyas Iyer 50, Surya Kumar Yadav 36, Siddhesh Lad 74, Abhimanyu Mithun 4 for 69, Sreenath Arvind 2 for 64, Shreyas Gopal 2 for 68) by 112 runs.