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Ranji Trophy: Karnataka beat Mumbai to enter final

Source: PTI
Last updated on: February 28, 2015 18:03 IST
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Karnataka's R Vinay Kumar, left and Robin Uthappa, centre, celebrate win against Mumbai

Karnataka's R Vinay Kumar, left and Robin Uthappa, centre, celebrate win against Mumbai in Bengaluru on Saturday. Photograph: PTI Photos

Karnataka showed why they are a champion side as they outplayed a young Mumbai team by 112 runs to enter the final of the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament in Bengaluru on Saturday.

Batting first, Karnataka scored 202 all out in their first innings and then bundled out Mumbai for a paltry 44, which was their second lowest total in the history of Ranji Trophy tournament.

Having taken a huge 158-run lead, Karnataka were all out for 286 in their second innings to set Mumbai a target of 445 to qualify for the final.

Resuming at 277 for six, Mumbai's quest for chasing the remaining 168 runs vanished after Balwinder Singh Sandhu (5) and Shardul Thakur (13) were removed by pacer Abhimanyu Mithun and leggie Shreyas Gopal, respectively, here at Chinnaswamy stadium.

Mithun turned out to be the star performer for Karnataka as he picked up four wickets and scored a match-winning 89 runs in the second innings.

Captain R Vinay Kumar, who was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match for his six for 20 effort that helped Karnataka skittle Mumbai 44 all out in their first innings, praised his team-mates for delivering at right occasions.

"We have shown that we can bat till No.11 and I am happy with the attitude we showed despite being all out for 202 in the first innings," Vinay said.

However, Vinay admitted that the hosts' batting has not been consistent.

"Yes, there are a few areas we need to improve. We have to come together as a batting unit," he said.

The seven-time Ranji winners -- Karnataka -- will not meet either Tamil Nadu or Maharashtra in the final, to be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai from March 8-12.

Gugale, Khurana hit tons to keep Maharashtra in hunt

Swapnil Gugale

Swapnil Gugale celebrates his century with teammate. Photograph: PTI Photos

Centuries from top-order batsmen Swapnil Gugale and Chirag Khurana kept Maharashtra in the hunt against a wary Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy cricket semifinal at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Saturday.

Resuming the day 439 runs behind, opener and comeback man Gugale slammed 154 with 28 fours, while No 3 batsman Khurana played a perfect ally with an equally delightful 125 (13x4) as the duo stitched together 270 in 469 balls for the second wicket to curtail the deficit.

Ankeet Bawne, unbeaten on 47 (9x4), and captain Rohit Motwani (4*) were at the crease with Maharashtra 394/5 at stumps, trailing Tamil Nadu by 155 runs.

With the match heading towards a draw, the first-innings lead is all set to determine the second finalists against defending champions Karnataka for the Ranji Trophy summit clash in Mumbai from March 8-12.

In reply to the massive 549 by Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra batsmen showed fine temperament and with little assistance for the bowlers from the Eden surface, it was a chance worth taking.

Making a comeback after four seasons, Gugale had earlier scored a career best 174 against Delhi and this was the 23-year-old's second century in five matches in the ongoing Ranji Trophy.

"I always dreamt of scoring a century at the Eden Gardens. I will always cherish this moment," Gugale said.

Aswin (2/80) was Tamil Nadu's most effective bowler as the seamer got a prized scalp in Khurana who misjudged an incoming delivery and got a nick to be caught by wicketkeeper.

Brief Scores:

Tamil Nadu 1st Innings: 549 all out; 226.4 overs.

Maharashtra 1st Innings: 394/5; 118 overs (Swapnil Gugale 154, Chirag Khurana 125, Ankit Bawne 47 batting). Match to continue

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