Skipper Manish Pandey hits an unbeaten 87 to defeat comfortably Rajasthan
It was so close yet so far for Rajasthan. Having put 224 on the board, they had reduced Karnataka to 166-9. However, they committed just one mistake – of letting Vinay Kumar lose- that ultimately cost Rajasthan he semi-final berth.
Kumar, who had earlier taken 2 wickets in the first innings, scored an unbeaten 83 runs that would later go on to prove to be the difference between the two teams. His knock not only avoided a 50+ run deficit for his team but also helped to breathe in much-needed confidence in Karnataka.
Quite rightfully, Vinay Kumar was declared as the Man of the Match after the hosts thumping 6-wicket victory at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.
Needing a competitive 184 to win and playing on an unpredictable pitch, Karnataka did not get the best of starts. They got an early set back in the second over itself when seamer Aniket Choudhary angled in delivery with a scrambled seam that pitched on a length and straightened just enough off the wicket to uproot the off-stump past a helpless Dega Nishchal.
Their problems compounded when Krishnamurthy Siddharth and Ravikumar Samarth made the return within 17 overs as Karnataka stood at 40/3.
In came Karun Nair and captain Manish Pandey, who had both struggled to make the cut in the first innings. However, they showed character to put up a solid partnership with the team still needing 128 runs to win.
Even though Manish seemed a bit rusty, he got in the flow going forward and smashed an eventful 87*. Karun proved to be an able partner, playing very compactly and chipping a few streaky boundaries later in the innings.
Rajasthan had overseen a successful Ranji season so far, facing only a solitary defeat in the run into the quarters.
Although they would be rueful about the missed opportunity, Rajasthan has plenty of positives to take back home. Aniket Choudhary and TN Ul-Haq were particularly the two players that shone for them. With the 19-year old captain Lomror having all the right tools at the helm, the young team will only get better over the coming years.
Meanwhile, Karnataka will now wait for the results of the Uttar Pradesh vs Saurashtra match to know their semi-final opponents that starts on 24th January.
Kerala, who are also through to the next round, will most likely face Vidarbha. The defending champions are in the driver’s seat against Uttarakhand, having posted a total of 629 runs. First timers Uttarakhand, on the other hand, are struggling at 155/5 with the team still trailing with 122 runs.
— BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) January 18, 2019
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