Ranji Trophy: Karnataka rolls over Rajasthan

Karnataka sits atop Group B with 29 points from five matches. With three league outings remaining, the side has taken a huge stride towards entering the knockout rounds.

Karnataka ranji

After crashing out from the group stages last year, Karnataka is focused on winning the title.   -  Ashwin Achal

It took Karnataka all of four overs on the final day here on Wednesday to dismantle Rajasthan en route to a fourth victory in its thriving Ranji Trophy campaign. The last three wickets - S. Dobal did not take strike as he sat out with an illness - did not offer any resistance, allowing Karnataka to coast through by 393 runs.

Karnataka sits atop Group B with 29 points from five matches. With three league outings remaining, the side has taken a huge stride towards entering the knockout rounds.

>SCORECARD

Left-arm pacer S. Arvind set the ball rolling by dismissing overnight batsman Rajesh Bishnoi on the second ball of the day. Skipper Vinay Kumar took two scalps in quick time to finish with a match-haul of nine for 82.

The absence of senior players like Ashok Maneria certainly dented Rajasthan’s chances, and Karnataka head coach J. Arunkumar admitted as much.

“The juniors in the Rajasthan team did not know what Vinay and Arvind were capable of. We had that advantage. If you bowl in good areas, as juniors, they would be under pressure. This was our plan and it worked,” Arunkumar said.

The side has all but made it to the quarterfinal round, but this is no reason to take the foot off the gas. Bitter memories from last season -- the then defending champion crashed out in the league stage -- are still fresh. There can be no room for complacency.

“The boys are very hurt from what happened last year. It looks like we have qualified for the knockouts, but we want to try and win the remaining matches. We want outright wins, because once that belief sets in, we know we can go for the kill against any team,” Arunkumar stated.

Karnataka next faces Odisha at Palam ground (New Delhi), on Monday. Rajasthan (12 points from six matches) travels to Wayanad to take on Delhi.