Karnataka became the second team after Kerala to secure a semi-final spot in the ongoing Ranji Trophy. Riding on Karun Nair and Manish Pandey’s 129-run partnership, Karnataka chased down 183 in the fourth innings to beat Rajasthan in the all-important quarterfinal at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.
Entering Day 4, Karnataka needed 139 runs to win while Rajasthan needed seven wickets. The hosts lost Ronit More (8) early on and it led to Manish Pandey’s arrival at the crease. The Karnataka skipper took a little time to get settle and when he did, he played a superb knock to power his team home. Manish scored 87 off 75 balls with 14 boundaries and 2 sixes. Nair dutifully held fort at the other to remain unbeaten on 61 runs.
While captain Pandey hogged the limelight at the end, it was Vinay Kumar’s 83 not out in the first dig that made the difference between the two teams. Vinay’s innings helped Karnataka avoid a 50+ first innings deficit and he was rightfully adjudged the Player-of-the-Match.
Karnataka now will face the winner of UP vs Saurashtra contest in the semi-final from January 24.
Brief scores: Rajasthan – 224/10 (Rajesh Bishnoi 79; Abhimanyu Mithun 3-48) & 222/10 (Robin Bist 44; K Gowtham 4-54) lost to Karnataka – 263/10 (Vinay Kumar 83*; Rahul Chahar 5-93) & 185/4 (Manish Pandey 87*) by six wickets.