Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Karnataka, Himachal settle for draw

Karnataka settled for a point on the final day of the Ranji Trophy contest against Himachal Pradesh at the SDNR Wadiyar Stadium here on Saturday.

Karnataka's B.R. Sharath in action versus Himachal Pradesh in the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy at Mysuru.   -  N. SUDARSHAN

Karnataka settled for a point on the final day of the Ranji Trophy contest against Himachal Pradesh at the SDNR Wadiyar Stadium here on Saturday.

The home side set Himachal a stiff 183-run target from 50 overs. But once the visitor lost Priyanshu Khanduri and Sumeet Verma with just 22 runs on board, it abandoned the chase, content with three points, courtesy the first-innings lead.

V. Koushik’s probing spell (7-1-13-2) gave Karnataka a whiff and things could have looked much different had R. Samarth held on to a tough chance at second slip off a thick edge from Akash Vashisht.

But in the company of Prashant Chopra, Vashisht, who came in at No.4 compared to No.9 in the first essay, held out for over 10 overs until tea after which the host too decided to shake hands. Karnataka now has 10 points from three matches and will next play Mumbai away (January 3-6).

Ranji Trophy BLOG

Tight call

“It was a tight call for us,” said skipper Karun Nair about the decision to call off the game. “We wanted to go for six points and they had lost two wickets. But there were only 30 odd overs and there wasn’t much in the wicket. If we had got two more wickets before tea, we would have pushed.”

“We’ve had a lot of injuries [to bowlers] of late. So we didn’t want to take a chance. We actually did well to stay in the game and not give it away. That said, we should have batted a lot better in the first innings. But after the first innings, we did quite well.”

READ| Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Kaushik Gandhi ton helps Tamil Nadu draw with Madhya Pradesh

Much of the credit for that should go to B.R. Sharath and Devdutt Padikkal. Karnataka lost Karun (64, 160b, 4x4) in the seventh over of the day, adjudged leg-before for not offering a shot to paceman Vaibhav Arora. Shreyas Gopal followed five balls later, caught behind after slashing at a wide delivery from Rishi Dhawan (28-2-83-5).

With the lead just 131, Karnataka was in a spot of bother but Sharath made a confident 42 (82b, 5x4) and held things together. Padikkal was unlucky not to score his maiden first-class century (99, 201b, 8x4), trapped in front by Arora. Sharath, however, denied Himachal an outright shot at victory by stitching together a 46-run eighth-wicket partnership with Abhimanyu Mithun (22, 54b).

Mysore: Karnataka 166 & 296 in 108.3 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 99, Karun Nair 64, B.R. Sharath 42, Rishi Dhawan 5/83) drew with Himachal 280 & 34/2 in 16 overs. Himachal 3, Karnataka 1.

  Dugout videos