Karnataka stormed into the Ranji Trophy semifinals with a thumping innings and 281-run victory over Uttarakhand at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday.
Resuming day four on 106 for three, the visitors needed 384 more runs to make Karnataka bat again. But they folded for the addition of just 103 runs, lasting a little over two-and-a-half hours.
Karnataka will meet either Saurashtra or Punjab, at home, in the last-four clash starting February 8.
On a day when the sun played hide and seek, V. Vyshak ripped through the Uttarakhand middle-order to set up the win. The pacer, who had largely played second fiddle to debutant M. Venkatesh in the first innings, bowled an excellent spell (10-1-32-3) to send the away side hurtling towards defeat.
After Venkatesh broke through first, having overnight batter Dikshanshu Negi caught behind by B.R. Sharath, Vyshak forced Swapnil Singh (51, 100b, 7x4, 1x6) to edge to Devdutt Padikkal at widish first-slip.
Akhil Rawat was out in similar fashion, edging Vyshak to Padikkal – this time at third slip – as the latter competed a fine low catch. Aditya Tare resisted for a while (28, 57b, 3x4) but succumbed to a rising delivery from Vyshak that he tried to pull but could only send it as far as the mid-on fielder.
Shreyas Gopal, who didn’t bowl a single ball in the first essay but showed his worth as a First Class batter, ran through the tail, finishing with a three-wicket haul (12.4-1-26-3). Abhay Negi and Nikhil Kohli were trapped leg-before with deliveries that straightened. Deepak Dhapola, the last man out, was bowled through the gate off a wrong’un.
“I think the way we are bowling is a massive plus for us,” said captain Mayank Agarwal. “[If] we are getting teams out for scores like 116 on first-day wickets at KSCA means we are executing our plans really well. Credit to the whole bowling unit for coming up trumps almost every innings.”
“For batters, something we have spoken about is, when the bowlers bowl so well and give us a massive advantage like they are doing, we must seal the game in the first innings. So very happy that all the batters are getting runs. For us to have posted 600... this is the second time we have done that this season and that augurs really well.”