Ranji Trophy 2019-2020: Karnataka pulls off an emphatic win

The Railways batsmen come a cropper in the second innings as Karnataka win by 10 wickets in a Ranji Trophy Elite Group B fixture.

Ronit More celebrates the fall of a Railways wicket in New Delhi on Thursday.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Towards the fag end of play on day three, Karnataka had been fighting to take the first-innings lead. Less than two sessions later, the visitors walked away with an emphatic 10-wicket win on Thursday, and a bonus point to boot. Host Railways was left wondering what it needs to do in the next four days, ahead of its final Elite Group B game.

Throughout this season, Karnataka has fallen back on its bowling unit to avoid defeats. Through this period, Ronit More has played second-fiddle to the other quicks. That changed an hour after lunch, the 28th over of Railways’ second innings being the turning point.

Dinesh Mor skied a bouncer first ball to Devdutt Padikkal at gully. Avinash Yadav saw his off stump go cartwheeling. Pradeep Poojar found the ball hitting his pads in front on the last ball. And Railways had gone from 63 for five to 63 for eight. The roar that accompanied each of those wickets was testimony to how much it meant to More and his team.

A ball later opener Mrunal Devdhar – top-scoring with 38 in a lonely battle -- edged to Siddharth KV at first slip. Railways lost its last five wickets for 16 runs to fold for 79 but the rot began much before. On a day when the sun shone bright, the slight nip in the morning helped the ball move through air and Abhimanyu Mithun and Prateek Jain kept Railways on the backfoot.

“We were not really sure (of a win) but we had a plan to make the batsmen play and executed it well. Mithun and Prateek got early wickets which was crucial and then we kept the momentum going,” More said later.

Railways coach Yousuf Ali Khan blamed his batsmen for being too defensive. “Our batting has repeatedly collapsed. Losing by 10 wickets and playing two innings in just over two sessions of play is not acceptable,” he said, adding there might be changes with players drawn from the Under-23 side for the last game against Himachal.

The day began with Karnataka trying to build on its slender 17-run first-innings lead and managed to extend it to 29 before the innings wrapped up. As it were, the hara-kiri by Railways batsmen meant it was more than enough and with just 51 to win, makeshift opener Rohan Kadam and Padikkal cantered past the total in 8.2 overs, just before tea.

Brief scores

Railways 182 and 79 (Mrunal Devdhar 38; Ronit More 6/32) lost to Karnataka 211 (Devdutt Padikkal 55; Mishra 5/70).

Points: Karnataka 7, Railways 0.

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