Ranji Trophy 2017-18, 2nd semi-final Review: Vidarbha beat Karnataka by 5 runs to clinch a thriller
Gurbani was the star of the match with figures of 12/162.
Updated - Dec 21, 2017 12:24 pm
Vidarbha has set up a title clash against Delhi in the ongoing season of Ranji Trophy by defeating Karnataka in the semi-finals. It was no less than a thriller as the tail-enders scored runs in the morning for the former champions and got ever so close to the target. At one stage it looked like Vidarbha was letting it slip out of their hands. However, the champion bowler in Rajneesh Gurbani stood out once again for them on the final day as Vidarbha stormed into their maiden Ranji final.
The final day was nicely set up with Vidarbha needing only three wickets and their opponents 87 runs. The batting line up of Karnataka was bound to fight as Vinay Kumar and Shreyas Gopal who was dropped on 0 by Wasim Jaffer late on the fourth day strode out with a plan. The skipper attacked right away to catch their opposition off guard early one. Kumar raced away to 36 off 48 deliveries but he became too greedy going for a cut shot which wasn’t there off Gurbani. The bowler scalped his fifth wicket with 57 runs still in the bank.
Gopal and Mithun get closer to the target
Abhimanyu Mithun then joined Gopal as they stitched a partnership together. The nerves were starting to show in Vidarbha camp as they fluffed a run-out chance as the duo was stranded in the middle of the pitch. They added 48 runs as Mithun became the aggressor with 33 off just 26 deliveries. It looked like they will win the game and complete a stunning fightback on the final day but Gurbani hadn’t given up. He induced a thick edge off Mithun’s bat which was snaffled by the fielder at the deep point with nine runs still in the bank.
Shreyas Gopal now had to play sensibly with Sreenath Aravind who had batted well this season so far. But he was exposed to Gurbani who was on song throughout the game and edged the first delivery of the new over to gully. Apoorv Wankhade didn’t miss out this time as Vidarbha booked their place in the final for the first time in the history. The players were jumping for joy and there were emotions on display after clinching the nerve-wracking thriller.
Gurbani was the star of the match as Karnataka were folded for 192 agonisingly short of the target by five runs.
What happened on first four days?
The first four days of the match literally ebbed and flowed either way with both the teams refusing to give up on a sporting Eden wicket. Vidarbha bravely opted to bat after winning the toss and crumbled to 185 thanks to the five-fer from Mithun. Karnataka batted well comparatively and took a crucial 116 run lead but somewhere even they would’ve felt that they didn’t bat their bat their opposition out of the game. Vidarbha, in their second essay, showed grit and determination even as wickets kept on falling and scored runs. The tail, most importantly, wagged and stretched the lead to 197 runs which was only around 110 when they had lost their seventh wicket.
In the end, the runs added by them proved to be gold dust with Rajneesh Gurbani ending the match with 12 wickets. Karnataka had themselves to blame who gave away the dominating position after bowling them out early on day 1.
Ranji Trophy will see a new title holder this season as Delhi have qualified for the finals after 10 long years and Vidarbha will play their first ever title clash. They will lock horns on December 29 now at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore.
Vidarbha 185 (A Sarwate 47; A Mithun 5/45) & 313 (G Satish 81, A Sarwate 55; V Kumar 3/71, S Binny 3/74)
Karnataka 301 (K Nair 153, CM Gautam 73; R Gurbani 5/94, U Yadav 4/73) & 192 (V Kumar 36; R Gurbani 7/68)
Result: Vidarbha won by 5 runs
Man of the Match: Rajneesh Gurbani