Ankit Bawne's heroic unbeaten 155 went in vain as Karnataka notched up a thrilling eight-wicket win over Maharashtra on the final day to book a quarter-final berth in the Ranji Trophy in Pune on Tuesday.
After conceding a massive 473-run first innings lead, Maharashtra fought back remarkably well in their follow on with Bawne leading the charge. The match look liked heading for a draw, a result which would have knocked Karnataka out.
Maharashtra's second innings eventually ended at 561 with Bawne unconquered on 155 (354 balls; 24x4, 1x6).
Karnataka were set a target of 89 from 13 overs and they chased it down with eight balls to spare to collect six points from their last league match and 21 in total to finish third in Group B.
The result knocked Delhi and Vidarbha out of tournament after their match in Delhi ended in a draw. Both Delhi and Vidarbha ended their league engagements on 20 points each.
First innings double centurion Muralidharen Gautam (16 not out) and opener Lokesh Rahul (42 not out) took Karnataka home as their side scored 92 for two in 11.4 overs.
Karnataka needed more than seven an over but Rahul and captain Stuart Binny played aggressively, sharing 48 runs from 5.5 overs before the latter was out on 25 (from 17 balls). Gautam then hit three sweet boundaries in the eight balls he faced to take Karnataka home.
Karnataka: 572 for 9 decl and 92 for 2 in 11.4 overs (Lokesh Rahul 42 not out)
Maharashtra: 99 and 561 all out in 149.2 overs (Ankit Bawne 155 not out; H S Sharath 4/100).