Ranji Trophy: Gowtham bowls Karnataka into semis

Saurashtra enters last-four with first-innings lead over Andhra

By Author  |  Published: 24th Feb 2020  11:10 pm

Jammu: Off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham snapped seven wickets as Karnataka sealed their place in the semifinals after thrashing Jammu and Kashmir by 167 runs on the final day of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal, here on Monday.

Resuming the day at 245 for four, Karnataka added another 71 runs before folding for 316 in their second innings, setting the hosts a target of 331. Jammu and Kashmir were bundled out for 163, courtesy off-spinner Gowtham’s (7/54) seven-wicket haul.

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Earlier, Abid Mushtaq (6/83) claimed six wickets, Parvez Rasool (3/88) took three and Mujtaba Yousuf (1/44) dismissed one Karnataka batsman. Overnight batsman Krishnamurthy Siddharth (98) missed out on a well-deserved century, dismissed by Mushtaq in the 80th over.

His wicket triggered a collapse as Karnataka kept losing wickets regularly. Srinivas Sharath (34) held on to one end and took the team across the 300-mark before departing in the 105th over. Chasing 331 to win, opener Shubham Khajuria (30), middle-order batsman Shubham Pundir (31) and tail-enders Aquib Nabi (26) and Umar Nazir (24) tried their bit but none of them could stay longer to raise any hope of a successful chase.

In Ongole, Saurashtra advanced on the basis of the first innings after their quarterfinal tie against Andhra ended in a draw. Resuming at the overnight score of 375 for 9, the visitors were dismissed for 426 in 138 overs in the second innings, setting an improbable target of 710 runs for Andhra.

After being bowled out for 136 in the first innings, Andhra finished at 149 for 4 in 51 overs in their second essay before play was called off. A strokeful half-century by Andhra captain K S Bharat (55, 69 balls, 6 fours, 1 six) was the bright spot in the host team’s second innings.

The wicketkeeper-batsman, who is on the fringes of national selection and has been part of various India ‘A’ teams in the recent past, showed why he is rated highly, playing some delightful shots during his knock.

Bengal, by virtue of their first innings lead over Odisha, joined the semis stage. Resuming on 361 for seven, Bengal lost their remaining three wickets for 12 runs inside six overs to set Odisha an improbable 456.

In reply, Odisha were 39 for no loss in 10 overs when bad light stopped play as both the teams agreed upon a draw with two more sessions left on the final day at the DRIEMS College ground here on the outskirts of Cuttack.

Bengal thus qualified by virtue of their crucial first innings lead of 82 runs, setting up a clash with Karnataka in the semifinal starting from February 29 at Eden Gardens. Anustup Majumdar, who smashed a career-best 157 to script Bengal’s stunning turnaround to reach 332 after being 46 for 5 in their first innings, was adjudged man-of-the-match.

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