A captain’s knock from Karun Nair led Karnataka to an emphatic eight-wicket win over Baroda to seal their quarter-final spot in the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy season. Elsewhere, Himachal Pradesh and Mumbai inched closer to wins in their respective clashes against Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Karnataka coast home against Baroda to enter QF
Having been bowled out for a paltry 85 inside the first session on day one, it took a Soyeb Sopariya fifer to bring Baroda back into the contest. Karnataka were reduced to 110 for six at one stage before their lower-order bailed them out to give them a handy 148-run lead. The visitors, led by Ahmadnoor Pathan and Deepak Hooda, put a much better resistance the second time out, defying the ghosts from the first-innings. However, a late collapse on day two, where Baroda lost three wickets in a jiffy, dented their hopes. Abhimanyu Rajput and Parth Kohli played cameos but Baroda were eventually bowled out for 296. With a target of 149 to win, it was down to the skipper, and Man of the Match, Karun Nair to steer his side home an eight-wicket win. With their fourth win, Karnataka now have 31 points and sit second in the table and qualify for the quarterfinals.
Himachal six wickets away from an impressive win
As Akash Vashist and Nikhil Gangta went on to complete their centuries on day three, Himachal posted 433 for seven (declared) in their second innings at Lucknow. Vashist hit 15 fours and six en route his 141, while Gangta’s brisk 102 included 12 fours. Saurabh Kumar picked up five wickets for a toothless UP side. Set a near-impossible 535 runs for victory, the hosts looked steady for 24 of the 27 overs remaining in the day, reaching 75 for one. Vaibhav Arora then struck thrice, trapping all his wickets in front, to reduce UP to 77 for four at stumps.
Arpit Vasavada ton all but ends Tamil Nadu’s qualifying dreams
Saurashtra’s tactics of patiently dismantling Tamil Nadu’s first-innings total of 424 paid rich dividends on the penultimate day of play. Resuming at 107 for three, Avi Barot and Vasavada safely negotiated the first session to take the total up to 194. However, Barot fell for 82 off the first ball of the post-lunch session. The visitors sniffed an opportunity and picked up two more wickets to reduce their hosts to 242 for six before Vasavada found Chirag Jani (47 not out) for a company and batted through till stumps. Vasavada hit 13 fours and a six en route his 126 not out, as Saurashtra reached 346 for six by end of the play — trailing TN by 78 runs only.
MP set challenging total, Mumbai need eight wickets
Once Venkatesh Iyer fell seven short of a century early in the day, it would only be a matter of time before Mumbai’s bowlers cleaned up MP’s tail. Kuldeep Sen delayed proceedings with his breezy 26, but MP were bowled out for 258, giving Mumbai a 169-run first-innings advantage. Coming out in their usual attacking fashion, Hardik Tamore’s century and Shams Mulani’s 85-ball 70 helped the hosts add 238 runs to their cause, losing five wickets in the process before skipper Aditya Tare declared. Set 408 to win, MP reached 44 for two at stumps on day three at the Wankhede Stadium.