Ranji Trophy: It was a tricky win for us, says Karun Nair

Karun Nair hopes Karnataka will be third time lucky, as it reached the Ranji Trophy semifinals in the 2017-18 and 18-19 seasons but lost on both occasions.

Karun Nair (right) admitted it was a tricky win for Karnataka while J&K skipper Parvez Rasool said it was inexperience that cost his side.   -  R.V. Moorthy

Karnataka has been involved in a fair few close games this Ranji Trophy season, emerging from tense situations to triumph over Tamil Nadu, Mumbai and Railways. The scorecard from the Gandhi Memorial Science College in Jammu may suggest that the margin between Karnataka and Jammu & Kashmir was large, but in reality the game turned on one little passage of play.

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“It was pretty tricky for us,” Karun Nair admitted afterwards. “They were 107 for 2 at one point (in the first innings). To come back from there was really commendable. Everyone chipped in when it was required. We got that crucial lead which eased that pressure. It was a slight relief,” he said.

Karnataka reached the semifinals of the Ranji Trophy in the 2017-18 and 18-19 seasons but lost on both occasions. Nair hoped things would be different this time. “They were close games and we just fell on the wrong side both times. Hopefully we’ll be third time lucky. The message to the boys will be: if we find ourselves in a good position, it’s time to put our foot down and kill the game off,” he said.

Meanwhile, J & K skipper Parvez Rasool felt inexperience had cost his side. “From 192 for 7 to 192 all out…it was just a little inexperience that cost us. I felt Karnataka had given up at that point. If we had taken even a small lead, we would have dictated terms," he said.

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Rasool took pride in J & K’s Ranji Trophy campaign. “We lost only two out of 10 matches all season,” he said. “We won six games in the league stages. Even here, we dominated for two days. To bowl out a mighty team like Karnataka for 206 is a great effort. People travelled 300km from Srinagar to watch us here. That matters to us.

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