Karnataka recorded a thumping nine-wicket win over Jharkhand on the third day of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group ‘C’ encounter at the Keenan Stadium in Jamshedpur on Thursday.
The victory took the Mayank Agarwal-led side to 35 points from seven games, helping it seal top spot. Its quarterfinal opponent will be known on Friday after the rest of the matches conclude.
Karnataka’s star on day three was offie K. Gowtham, finishing with five wickets (28-5-75-5) to take his match haul to nine wickets. From an overnight 85 for two, Jharkhand could score just 201, setting Karnataka a 66-run target.
The visitors knocked off the runs in 18.1 overs with Nikin Jose remaining unbeaten on 42 (45 n.o., 9x4) and R. Samarth on 24 (62b, 2x4).
Jharkhand started on the wrong foot, losing four wickets for just 22 runs in the first session, three of those going to Gowtham. Kumar Suraj and Virat Singh were both cleaned up by Gowtham before Koushik got the prized scalp of Saurabh Tiwary, caught behind by B.R. Sharath.
Anukul Roy (36, 116b, 3x4) and Supriyo Chakraborty 48 (93b, 3x4, 2x6) put on 86 runs for the seventh wicket to steady ship before Gowtham struck again, having Supriyo caught by wicketkeeper Sharath. The innings soon folded, with leggie Shreyas Gopal and V. Koushik cleaning up the tail.
Chasing 66, Nikin scored 42 of the runs, hitting as many as nine boundaries. A ten-wicket win would have fetched Karnataka a bonus point, but in the end, it didn’t matter.