Vidarbha claimed a historic win over Karnataka in the second semifinal of the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2017/18 to make their way into their maiden Ranji final, where Delhi is waiting for them.
Vidarbha knew they had the odds against them as they were facing multiple time Ranji Champions in Karnataka in the semis and they decided to give it their all. Despite getting bowled out for 185 in the first innings, they fought back to keep Karnataka to 301. Abhimanyu Mithun picked a five wicket haul.
Karun Nair scored a brilliant 153 and CM Gautam aided him with a knock of 73. Rajneesh Gurbani took 5/94 and Umesh Yadav picked 4/73 to keep Karnataka from running away with the match.
In the second innings, things looked bleak for Vidarbha as they slumped to 150/4, but Ganesh Satish dug in to make 81 and got help from AV Wankhede (49) and AA Sarwate, who made 55. Vidarbha managed to scored 313 runs and set a target of 198 for Karnataka. R Vinay Kumar (3/71) and Stuart Binny (3/74) took the majority of wickets.
Karnataka knew they were up against a spirited Vidarbha side, which was looking to cause a huge upset. The dangerous Mayank Agarwal was dismissed by Umesh Yadav for 7 and D Nischal was removed by Neral. Neral also accounted for R Samarth, who made 24 and Karnataka found themselves in a bit of bother at 40/3.
The bit of bother turned to full on panic as Karun Nair departed for 30 and CM Gautam went for 24. Stuart Binny followed for a duck and Rajneesh Gurbani was looking like a man on a mission for Vidarbha, as he kept demolishing the Karnataka batting line up.
Karnataka ended day four with 3 wickets in hand and 87 run to get, setting up a thrilling last day’s play.
R Vinay Kumar struck 36, while S Gopal remained unbeaten for 24. Abhimanyu Mithun struck a quick 33 to set the panic amongst Vidarbha supporters, but Gurbani removed both Mithun and last man Arvind to complete his 7 wicket haul and a historic win for Vidarbha.
Gurbani also received the Man of the match for his 12 wicket haul in the match.
Karnataka fell just 5 runs short of reaching another Ranji final, but would be proud of their campaign this Ranji season.
Vidarbha will face 7 time Ranji champions and currently in red hot form Delhi at Indore in the finals of the tournament, starting December 29.
VIDARBHA 185 (Sarwate 47, Mithun 5-45) and 313 (Satish 81, Vinay 3-71, Binny 3-74) beat
KARNATAKA 301 (Nair 153, Gautam 73, Gurbani 5-94, Umesh 4-73) and 192 (Vinay 36, Gurbani 7-68) by five runs