Karnataka retain Irani Cup
Bengaluru, March 20 (IANS) Ranji Trophy champions Karnataka retained the Irani Cup by defeating Rest of India by 246 runs on the fourth and penultimate day here on Friday.
Chasing a victory target of 403, Rest of India were bowled out for 156 after opening bowler Abhimanyu Mithun ripped through the top order. The right-armer picked up three wickets in his first two overs to break the back of the visitors' innings.
Although skipper Manoj Tiwary (24) and opener Jiwanjot Singh (38) added 55 runs for the fourth wicket, once the partnership was broken it was just a matter of time before Karnataka completed the rout.
Jiwanjot uppishly cut H.S. Sharath to Abhishek Reddy who caught on the second attempt while Tiwary departed soon after, playing distantly to seamer Sreenath Arvind. He dragged the ball on to his stumps.
Thereafter, the Rest of India resistance was rather tepid with only Kedar Jadhav (56, 48b, 6x4, 3x6) showing some spark of aggression before he perished, sweeping leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal to Reddy. Gopal picked up four wickets to complete a massive win for Karnataka.
Earlier, Karnataka, resuming at 341 for 6 piled on the misery for Rest of India, setting a target of 403. Manish Pandey's brilliant unbeaten 123 (164b. 12x4, 3x6) anchored the innings as he notched his first century of the season.
There was little respite for Rest of India bowlers among whom seamer Shardul Thakur, among the most successful bowlers this season, picked up all the four remaining wickets to come away with a five for 86 haul.
Brief scores: Karnataka 244 and 422 all out in 110.3 overs (Ravikumar Samarth 81, Abhishek Reddy 31, Karun Nair 80, Manish Pandey 123 not out, Vinay Kumar 38; Varun Aaron 2 for 131, Pragyan Ojha 2 for 93, Shardul Thakur 5 for 86) beat Rest of India 264 and 156 all out in 43.3 overs (Jiwanjot Singh 38, Kedar Jadhav 56; Abhimanyu Mithun 3 for 40, Shreyas Gopal 4 for 39).