Karnataka forced to settle for draw

Karnataka forced to settle for draw

IN FINE TOUCH: Ronit More (centre) once again impressed, bagging a four-wicket haul against Gujarat in the second innings of their Group A match in Surat on Monday. DH File Photo

Karnataka, for the second time in this season of the Ranji Trophy, settled for three points after having looked poised to post an outright victory. 

At the Lalbhai Contractor stadium on Monday, the eight-time champions faced a familiar situation. Just like it happened in their season opener against Vidarbha, Karnataka faced a tricky target. The visitors needed 173 runs from 34 overs against Gujarat. 

Mayank Agarwal’s 57-ball 53, laced with seven fours and one six, gave Karnataka a good chance of crossing the victory line. But the other batsmen failed to show the kind of urgency for runs that Mayank and the game ended in a draw. Karnataka finished 107/4, 66 runs behind the target but collected three points based on their first innings lead. 

With 15 points from five games, Karnataka are eighth in the combined (Group A & B) table.

R Vinay Kumar’s men next face Railways at Shivamogga from December 22. 

Earlier, Gujarat resumed from 187 for three, 14 runs ahead of their opponents. The first hour was crucial for the both the sides. Gujarat needed to show resistance while Karnataka had to go for quick wickets. 

The hosts gained upper hand when they failed to panic and took the lead past 100. Karnataka would have fared better had they taken their chances.

R Samarth dropped a sitter to offer Dhruv Raval a reprieve. Gujarat managed to post 345 largely on the back of seasoned campaigner Manprit Juneja’s patient 98 (212b, 9x4). More once again was the pick of Karnataka bowlers, bagging four for 61. K Gowtham returned with four for 80. 

The experience of Axar Patel came in handy for Gujarat. The left-arm spinner picked three wickets, including the all important one of Agarwal.

For Karnataka, the 69-run stand between Agarwal and Samarth kept them on course but once the duo was back in the hut, the possibility of a win evaporated. 

Mumbai held

In another Group A encounter, former champions Mumbai claimed three points against Baroda after their game ended in a tame draw at the Wankhede Stadium.

The only interest left when play commenced was whether Baroda, who conceded a 29-run lead on Sunday, could skittle out the hosts and 41-time champions cheaply in the second innings and give themselves enough time to force an outright victory.

But that was not to be as Mumbai, who resumed at 20 for two, lost the wicket of captain Siddhesh Lad very early before the remaining batsmen ensured that Baroda did not come back into the game.