Vidarbha reach maiden final, beat Karnataka by five runs
Kolkata: Vidarbha edged past eight-time champions Karnataka by five runs to reach their maiden Ranji Trophy final in an absorbing last-four clash at the Eden Gardens here on Thursday.
Vidarbha will now take on Delhi, who beat Bengal in the other semifinal, in Indore on December 29. In 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 Rajneesh 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.
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.
Brief scores: Vidarbha 185 and 313; Karnataka 301 and 192 (R Vinay Kumar 36; Rajneesh Gurbani 7/68)