Karnataka retain Ranji title

Karnataka retain Ranji title

A journey that started at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on December 7, 2014, ended on a most glorious note at the Wankhede stadium on a warm Thursday.

At this famous venue, Karnataka defended their Ranji Trophy title, hammering Tamil Nadu by an innings and 217 runs. It was Karnataka’s eighth Ranji title, and they are now second only to Mumbai, who have 40 crowns.

It may be a quirk of fate that Karnataka had Tamil Nadu as the opponents in the final. R Vinay Kumar’s side had tamed their southern rivals in their season opener in Bengaluru by 285 runs. But there were no such coincidences in Karnataka’s march to title triumph for the second year in a row.

Vinay and his unit played some positive, aggressive and confident cricket throughout the season to emerge worthy winners.

Yes, they had to go through some trying situations. Many times, their top order had failed to fire collectively. But on each of those occasions, the lower middle-order came to their rescue, garnering some crucial runs.

But the most striking feature in victory was bowlers’ efforts.

Led by Vinay, Abhimanyu Mithun, S Arvind, Ronit More and H S Sharath scythed through the opposition like a hot knife through butter. They showed their firepower in the title clash too, rolling over Tamil Nadu twice in a match in which Karnataka batsmen had raced to 762.

It, then, would be a remiss to ignore the contributions of Karun Nair, who made a triple hundred here, and other batsmen like Robin Uthappa, who was the highest run-getter of the season, K L Rahul, R Samarth, C M Gautam and Shreyas Gopal.

It would be a tough job to place your finger on one single performer this season, simply because this triumph was a result of a collective will to win against all comers in all conditions. This young team has already started the process of leaving behind a strong legacy. And no rivals are there to be seen either.

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