Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Bengal storm into final with dominating 174-run win over Karnataka
- A six-wicket haul from Mukesh Kumar skittled out Karnataka for 177 as Bengal registered a thumping 174-run win in the #RanjiTrophy.
Bengal 312 and 161 (Sudip Chatterjee 45, Anustup Majumdar 41, Abhimanyu Mithun 4/23) beat Karnataka 122 and 177 (Devdutt Padikkal 62, Abhimanyu Mithun 38, Mukesh Kumar 6/61) by 174 runs.
Three wickets in the first 15 minutes of play courtesy of Mukesh Kumar was the perfect start Bengal needed on the fourth day of the Ranji Trophy semifinal against Karnataka as despite some late lusty blows from Abhimanyu Mithun, hosts Bengal registered a mammoth 174-run win over the visitors at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Courtesy of this big win, Bengal booked their spot in the summit clash of the Ranji Trophy, notably for the first time since they last made it to the last two back in 2007 under the captaincy of Deep Dasgupta.
Karnataka's overnight batting duo of Devdutt Padikkal and Manish Pandey walked in to begin proceedings with the score on 98/3, and their side needing 254 runs to get with two days of play left in the competition.
While Karnataka fans would have expected the experience of Pandey to come to the fore, he was sent back by Mukesh Kumar in just the day's third over as his approach to chase the ball outside the off-stump took the edge and Sreevats Gosvami pouched an easy grab.
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Mukesh then struck twice in two balls in his very next over with the wickets of KV Siddharth and then Srinivas Sharath to set the cat among the pigeons in the Karnataka camp.
In walked crisis man Krishnappa Gowtham, and just as it looked like the duo of Gowtham and Padikkal were providing some resistance, Mukesh Kumar induced a false poke from Padikkal, and the southpaw walked back for a well-made 129-ball 62 as the pacer celebrated a deserving five-wicket haul.
Gowtham, Mithun fireworks go in vain
With the impending target going out of reach with every wicket, Gowtham and next man in Mithun opted for an ultra-aggressive approach and put up a 24-run partnership from just 16 balls before Ishan Porel had Gowtham caught at deep point.
More's stay at the crease was cut short by Mukesh, who picked up his sixth wicket with the fourth ball of his 19th over, and at 147/9, the end was only near.
However, Abhimanyu Mithun did not give up and took two fours and a six off an Ishan Porel over but it was all far too late as a cleverly disguised slower ball from Akash Deep took Mithun's off stump with it, landing the final nail on the coffin for Karnataka.Published 03 Mar 2020, 12:12 IST