Ranji Trophy 2017: Rajneesh Gurbani bags 7 wickets as Vidarbha reach maiden final

first_imgPaceman Rajneesh Gurbani picked up seven wickets to help Vidarbha defeat Karnataka by five runs and qualify for their maiden final of the Ranji Trophy.Vidarbha needed three wickets on the final day and Gurbani did the job for his team at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.Vidarbha will now take on Delhi, who beat Bengal in the other semi-final, in Indore on December 29.Ganesh Satish (81) and Aditya Sarwate (55) ensured Vidharbha put up a strong performance in their second innings, setting Karnataka 198 to win.With a batting line-up consisting Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, CM Gautam and Stuart Binny, not many would have expected Karnataka to finish the penultimate day precariously at 111/7.However, Vidharbha put Karnataka under early pressure when Umesh Yadav removed Agarwal in the third over of the innings. It was a nightmare for Karnataka from thereon as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.First-innings centurion Karun gave Karnataka some hope with a fluent 30 but he became the first of Gurbani’s four victims as Vidharbha took a stranglehold over the semi-final.The onus was on skipper Vinay Kumar to stage a sensational lower-order fightback but he became Gurbani’s first victim on the final day.Resuming on 111/7, overnight batters Karnataka skipper R Vinay Kumar (36) and Shreyas Gopal (24 not out) joined hands for a gritty 37-run partnership for the eighth wicket. After Vinay Kumar got out, Abhimanyu Mithun (33) took over to stitch a 48-run stand with Gopal who played the anchor’s role.But once Mithun’s brisk stay was over, Sreenath Aravind (2) failed to deliver the goods.advertisementIn the second innings, Karnataka were bowled out for 192 chasing 198 after Vidarbha wiped out a first innings lead of 116 by posting 313 in their second essay.Pacer Gurbani returned career-best figures of 7/68 in the second innings to run through the Karnataka batting despite stiff resistance by their lower order on the fifth and final day.In the first innings, Vidarbha chose to bat and were skittled out for 185. Karnataka, in reply, rode Karun Nair’s brilliant 153 to amass 301. Gurbani took five wickets in the first innings as well making it his best match figures of 12/162.(With inputs from IANS)last_img read more