Ranji Trophy: Karnataka beat Rajasthan by 6 wickets, enter semis

A round-up of Ranji matches played on Friday

Captain Manish Pandey and Karun Nair cracked brilliant half centuries as Karnataka registered a comprehensive six-wicket win over Rajasthan to storm into the semifinals of Ranji Trophy in Bengaluru on Friday.

Pandey (87) and Nair (61) shared an unbeaten 129-run partnership for the fifth wicket in just 24.5 overs on the fourth and final day to help Karnataka chase down a tricky 184-run victory target.

Karnataka will now meet either Saurashtra or Uttar Pardesh in the semi-finals.

Rajasthan had scored 224 in their first innings, riding on fifties by skipper Mahipal Lomrov (50) and Rajesh Bishnoi (79).

In reply, Karnataka put on 263 all out before returning to bundle out Rajasthan for 222 in their second innings, thus setting themselves a 184-run target.

Karnataka were 45 for 3 in 18 overs at stumps after day 3.

Starting the final day needing 139 runs to win with seven wickets in hand, the hosts lost nightwatchman Ronit More early in the morning which forced Pandey to walk into the middle.

Pandey spent some time on the wicket, before taking on the formidable Rajasthan bowling lineup.

He unleashed an array of delightful shots, cobbling up a match-winning knock in 75 balls, which was embellished with 14 boundaries and two sixes.

Pandey chased down the remaining 14 runs in five balls as Karnataka players started to celebrate the fantastic win in the dressing room.

Nair gave an able support to Pandey, who remained unbeaten on 61, a knock decorated with six boundaries off 129 balls.

Though Pandey hogged the limelight on fourth day, Vinay Kumar’s unbeaten 83 in first innings was an equally important innings as it forced Rajasthan to concede lead for first time this season.

Vinay also bagged two wickets in Rajasthan’s first innings to bag the Man of the Match.

Brief scores:

Karnataka first and second innings: 263 all out in 87.4 overs and 185 for 4 in 47.5 overs (Manish Pandey 87 not out, Karun Nair 61 not out (Aniket Choudhary 2/32) vs Rajasthan first and second innings: 224 in 77.1 overs and 222 all out in 67.2 overs (Robin Bist 44, Mahipal Lomror 42; Krishnappa Gowtham 4/54, Shreyas Gopal 3/52, Abimanyu Mithun 2/26).

Vidarbha in total control against Uttarakhand

Nagpur: Reigning champions Vidarbha were in complete control of their Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Uttarakhand after taking a huge 274-run first innings lead and then striking big blows later on the fourth and penultimate day of the game on Friday.

At stumps, Uttarakhand were struggling for survival at 152 for 5 in their second essay with India pacer Umesh Yadav having grabbed three of those wickets in a fiery exhibition of fast bowling.

The visitors were adrift by 122 runs with five wickets in hand and would need to bat out of their skin to force a draw which will, however, be enough for Vidarbha to enter the semis.

Earlier, resuming at their overnight score of 559/6, Vidarbha added 70 runs to their tally before their innings ended with a massive tally of 629.

After Wasim Jaffer (206) and opener Sanjay Ramaswamy (141), Aditya Sarwate became the third centurion for the hosts when he made 102 in 185 balls, striking 11 fours, after resuming at his overnight score of 67.

Batting for the second time, openers Vineet Saxena (27) and Karnaveer Kaushal (76) gave the visitors a steady start by putting up 72 for the first wicket.

But Yadav trapped Saxena in front to end the partnership and Vidarbha bowlers came on top.

One-down Vaibhav Bhatt (0) became Yadav’s second victim, while Kaushal was cleaned up by slow-left arm orthodox bowler Sarvate as Uttarakhand were reduced to 3 for 152.

Avneesh Sudha, who hit a valiant 91 in the first essay, could not repeat the feat and fell for 28 and then Vidarbha took another wicket at the fag end to reduce the Ranji debutant to 152 for 5.

When stumps were drawn, first innings centurion Saurabh Rawat (0 not out) was at the crease.

Brief scores: Uttarakhand 355 and 152 for 5 (Karnaveer Kaushal 76, Avneesh Sudha 28; Umesh Yadav 3-22) vs Vidarbha 629 (Wasim Jaffer 206, Sanjay Ramaswamy 141, Aditya Sarvate 102; D K Sharma 3-101).

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