Karnataka steamroll Delhi

Vinay's men post fifth consecutive victory, set up quarterfinal clash with UP

Karnataka steamroll Delhi

Karnataka cruised to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Delhi in the Ranji Trophy Group A match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium here on Thursday.

It was Karnataka’s fifth consecutive win this season. They finished the Group A at the top with 38 points. On the other hand, Delhi rounded off yet another forgettable year where they finished fifth with 16 points.

Karnataka have been drawn to play Uttar Pradesh in their quarterfinal clash to be held at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore.

Resuming at 132/6, Delhi delayed the imminent through the 40-run eighth-wicket stand between Milind Kumar (31 n.o.) and Sumit Narwal.  But once Abrar Kazi bowled Narwal, his fellow spinner Shreyas Gopal (3/23) packed off the remaining tailenders --  Ashish Nehra and Mohit Chauhan -- to wrap up Delhi for 201 at the stoke of lunch.

Karnataka, required to chase down 115 runs for victory, lost the man of the match and first innings centurian Karun Nair soon after the luncheon break. But Mayank Aggarwal anchored the small chase with an unbeaten 68 runs off 96 balls (6x4, 3x6). He and R Samarth (20) scored briskly in the second session against the hapless Delhi spinners. Manan bowled Samarth when Karnataka were just 11 short of winning. But Manish Pandey guided Karnataka home with a boundary and a six, over long on, off Mohit Chauhan.

Captain R Vinay Kumar was naturally pleased with his boys’ performance against delhi, despite resting some of their in-form players.

“We have the best 15 players from Karnataka. The fact that we have had the same team for last 4-5 years is also paying now.  Delhi is a good side but we bowled at the right areas,” Vinay said.

“We have performed consistently this season and have a good chance to go for the trophy. From now on, no match will be easy. In our side, everyone wants to play for India, and we play keeping that in mind.”

This has been one of the most dominant shows by Karnataka in recent times wherein they have reeled off five successive wins including their maiden outright triumph over defending champions Mumbai. It wasn’t an ideal start for the season though. They barely managed a first-innings lead against Jharkhand in Mysore and slipped further when Gujarat got the better of them in their next encounter. Karnataka’s turn-around in fortunes began with their match against Vidarbha in Nagpur where they overhauled hosts’ mammoth 542 to take innings lead.

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