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Ranji Trophy | Karnataka batters fail to put up a fight, Vidarbha advances

Lack of application: Karnataka batters will be disappointed by their performance.
| Photo Credit: PTI

A day which started with so much hope turned out to be a nightmare for Karnataka.

Batter after batter committed harakiri, leading to a 127-run loss to Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal at VCA Stadium (Civil Lines) here on Tuesday.

Sensible batting was the need for the hour, with the visitor requiring 268 runs to win on the final day with nine wickets in hand. What played out was anything but sensible.

The first brain fade moment came from skipper Mayank Agarwal (70), who threw away his wicket. Singles and twos were available on a platter for the opener, as Vidarbha opted to spread the field. Against the run of play, Mayank stepped out to left-arm spinner Aditya Sarvate and spooned a catch to mid-on. Two balls later, vice-captain Nikin Jose gently lobbed a flick to mid-wicket.

The panic button was pressed. Manish Pandey was soon trapped on the pads playing down the wrong line to an arm ball from Sarvate. At 131 for four, K.V. Aneesh and Hardik Raj offered a brief resistance, before the latter was trapped leg-before.

Then, Aneesh and Dheeraj Gowda made a mess of routine calls to end up run-out. By Lunch, the visitor had lost eight wickets, and the campaign was over. The meek surrender did little justice to the pacers who had bowled with venom on Monday to bring the side back into the contest.

Serious questions must be asked of the Karnataka batters. The holes in temperament were exposed last month as well when Karnataka crumbled for 104 in pursuit of 110 against Gujarat. The introspection must begin with Mayank, who admitted that he was “unhappy” with the shot he played.

“We felt we had a good chance entering the final day. But we did not apply ourselves, and our shot selection left a lot to be desired,” Mayank said.

Asked why his side has repeatedly come a cropper in the fourth innings, Mayank said, “A lot of us need to sit back and think about the decisions we take under pressure. Are we disciplined enough to execute the plans we have set? This will reveal all the answers.”

Vidarbha, which stuck to the basics and watched the drama unfold, will face Madhya Pradesh in the last-four.

The scores:

Vidarbha – 1st innings: 460.

Karnataka 1st innings: 286.

Vidarbha – 2nd innings: 196.

Karnataka – 2nd innings: R. Samarth b Sarvate 40, Mayank Agarwal c Dubey b Sarvate 70, K.V. Aneesh (run out) 40, Nikin Jose c Rathod b Sarvate 0, Manish Pandey lbw b Sarvate 1, Hardik Raj lbw b Dubey 13, Sharath Srinivas b Dubey 6, Dheeraj Gowda (run out) 2, V. Vyshak b Dubey 34, Vidwath Kaverappa c Sarvate b Dubey 25, V. Koushik (not out) 4; Extras (lb-2, w-5, nb-1): 8; Total (in 62.4 overs): 243.

Fall of wickets: 1-101, 2-127, 3-127, 4-131, 5-171, 6-173, 7-179, 8-189, 9-222.

Vidarbha bowling: Umesh 12-2-50-0, Thakare 7-1-15-0, Thakur 8-0-33-0, Dubey 13.4-1-65-4, Sarvate 22-4-78-4.

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