Gurbani: ‘When Karnataka started to score runs, I became restless’

Rajneesh Gurbani, the Vidarbha fast bowler, recollects his emotionally draining final day against Karnataka.

Rajneesh Gurbani (centre) is mobbed by team-mates after Vidarbha’s semifinal win.   -  Sampath Kumar G. P.

Vidarbha fast bowler Rajneesh Gurbani, who recorded match-winning figures of 12 for 162, spent a sleepless night before taking the field on Thursday.

“I was nervous last night. I woke up several times in the odd hours of the night. I finally got out of bed at 5 a.m., and for the first time in my life, I was dressed and ready at 6 a.m.. I was desperate to start bowling,” Rajneesh said here on Thursday.

Report: Vidarbha stuns Karnataka by five runs

The 24-year-old was on edge at the ground as well, especially when A. Mithun and Shreyas Gopal pulled Karnataka close. “When I came to the stadium, (coach) Chandrakant Pandit sir gave us a motivational talk, which calmed me. But again, when Karnataka started to score runs, I became restless. I wanted to win at any cost. Once Karnataka needed 13-14 runs to win, I decided that it was best to stick to a good line and length, and to let the batsmen take the risks. It worked. After we won, Pandit sir got emotional, which made me emotional too,” Gurbani said.

‘Sense of relief’

Ganesh Satish, who had represented Karnataka until 2014, had a hard time keeping his emotions in check as well. “When Arvind got out, all of us went crazy. There was a sense of relief, because it had come down to the wire. We expected a fight from a champion side like Karnataka, and we got it,” Satish said.

Read - Vinay Kumar: ‘Our batting let us down’

The 29-year-old scored a crucial 81 in the second innings to set up the win. “Any knock that helps my team win is special, especially when it comes in a semifinal. It doesn’t matter if it is against Karnataka or any other team. This is my third match against Karnataka – that feeling of nostalgia is gone. I’ve been with the Vidarbha side for four years now. I have nothing to prove when I play against Karnataka,” he said.

Satish, who was part of the Karnataka team which won the domestic treble (Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy and Irani Cup) in the 2013-14 season, added, “I've faced the Karnataka bowlers in nets, and also in the KSCA league matches for many years. So I shared some tips on how to tackle them [with] the Vidarbha batsmen,” he said.