A resilient Karnataka withstood a spirited fight from Rajasthan to record a 10-wicket win on the third day of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group ‘C’ encounter on Thursday.
Rajasthan, faced with a 316-run innings deficit, took the attack to the Karnataka bowlers in the second essay. Mahipal Lomror (99, 83b, 11x4, 6x6), Aditya Garhwal (66, 66b, 9x4, 2x6) and S.V. Joshi (63, 79b, 4x4, 2x6) went all-out, but it was not enough to stop Karnataka from recording a third win in five outings.
Fast bowler Vyshak Vijaykumar (4/73) and off-spinner K. Gowtham (3/72) overcame the storm to help Karnataka dismiss Rajasthan for 330. Vyshak capped a memorable outing with a eight-for match-haul.
Karnataka knocked off the 15-run target in five overs. The home side, the table-topper with 26 points, has all but qualified for the knockout rounds.
Resuming on 380 for eight, Karnataka added vital runs thanks to an attacking century from Manish Pandey. Pandey, who scored a double hundred in the Goa outing a couple of weeks ago, showed great acumen to shepherd the strike with the tailenders.
Eight-drop Vidwath Kaverappa (37, 58b, 5x4, 1x6) provided able company, prolonging Rajasthan’s wait on the field.
Rajasthan took a refreshingly bold approach when batting. Southpaw opener Lomror set the tone, flaying the pacers for sixes to long-on, extra-cover and deep square-leg. Anything overpitched or short was dealt with severely by Lomror.
Lomror missed his century by one run, when he edged a delivery from Vyshak. Lomror was unhappy with the send-off given by the bowler, and had to be pacified by Karnataka fielder Shreyas Gopal.
One-drop Garhwal impressed with a few classical drives. Wicketkeeper-batter Joshi hit a couple of big sixes, taking Rajasthan to 299 for five.
Like he has done many times in his career, Gowtham triggered a collapse in the last hour of the day. Gowtham removed Joshi, K.S. Rathore and Arafat Khan in quick time to set Karnataka on course for victory.
Rajasthan skipper Ashok Menaria, who sustained an injury while fielding, was unable to bat.