Ranji Trophy: Karnataka thumps Mumbai to enter semis

Off-spinner K. Gowtham returned figures of six for 104 in the second innings as Karnataka ended Mumbai's hopes of a record 42nd title with a thumping innings and 20 runs win.

Shreyas Gopal ran Surya Kumar Yadav out to hasten Mumbai's surrender on day four.   -  PRASHANT NAKWE

The writing was clearly on the wall even before the penultimate day's play commenced at the Vidarbha Cricket Association on Sunday. Karnataka, thanks to lanky off-spinner K. Gowtham's six-wicket haul, ensured that it folded up Mumbai in a kind of an unprecedented manner to complete its total domination in the Ranji Trohy quarter-final.

Scorecard

When debutante Shivam Dube's impressive counter-attack was over with him holing up to R. Samarth at widish long-on off Gowtham on the cusp of the conclusion of the extended second session, it culminated in a thumping victory by an innings and 20 runs for the southern giant over the domestic powerhouse. It was only the fifth time in 503 Ranji games that Mumbai had suffered an innings defeat.

When Mumbai started the day 120 for three, Suryakumar Yadav and Akash Parkar had a massive challenge on their hands to make Karnataka bat again. The duo started sensibly, playing out the morning spells by R. Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun with little discomfort. When spin was introduced, Yadav upped the ante, driving with finesse.

Read - Vinay Kumar: We didn't give Mumbai a chance to come back

Soon after the vice-captain notched up his maiden hundred of the season, however, he backed up too far at the non-striker's end and Parkar's straight drive ricocheted off leggie Shreyas Gopal's fingers onto the stumps to leave Yadav short of the crease.

With the pitch starting to aid spinners at times, Siddhesh Lad and Parkar continued to grind. Vinay opted for the second new ball in the 84th over and struck with the third ball, thanks to Lad poking at one in the channel to offer C.M. Gautam a simple catch. Four overs hence, captain Aditya Tare was dubiously adjudged caught-behind while attempting a hook off Vinay.

Read: This team doesn't have a tail, says Gopal

That dismissal all but ensured Karnataka would script an innings win. The all-rounder duo of Parkar and Dube then tried to score freely till Parkar was enticed into an edge by Gowtham to Karun Nair in the slips. Dhawal Kulkarni came out in an aggressive mode, hitting two sixes including one off the first ball he faced, but was trapped in front of the wickets by Gowtham soon aftewards.

Dube then farmed the strike and in between impressed with his straight aerial hitting and robust driving skills, especially against the spinners. Until, of course, he perished in an attempt to clear the boundary for the fifth time to end Mumbai's misery and kick-off a prolonged Karnataka celebration.

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