Karnataka bowlers, notably off-spinner K. Gowtham, joined the performance chart of the team by scripting a 209-run victory over Railways in the Group `A’ Ranji Trophy match at the Karnail Singh Stadium here on Tuesday.
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Gowtham claimed seven for 72 as Karnataka wrapped up the game in style to top the Group with 32 points followed by Delhi (27), Maharashtra (16), Hyderabad (16), Railways (14), Uttar Pradesh (5) and Assam (2). The top two advance to the knockout stage.
Resuming at 208 for one, Karnataka added 67 runs before declaring the innings. The target for Railways was 377 but the team was bundled out for 167 as Gowtham spun a deadly web with his accuracy that fetched him four bowled and three leg-before dismissals.
Reflecting on his performance, Gowtham said, “In the first innings, it was a pretty slow pitch. Even on the fourth day it wasn't helping as much as we expected. It was a little deceptive. We have played on low pitches but this was slow and low, so it was a good experience for us to learn a lot of things. We were going for an outright win and had to attack the batsmen's mind.”
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This superb spell carried Gowtham’s league tally to 27 wickets from 200.1 overs. “In the first innings, we were thinking of conceding as less runs as possible. Today I stuck to one line, keeping it in one area,” Gowtham added.
Railways’ captain Mahesh Rawat, who hit the 12th century of his 106-match first-class career, summed up the season, “We could not withstand the pressure. However, as compared to last two years, at least we have some kind of standing. Hopefully, we will see more youngsters stepping up next year.”
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