Karnataka finished things off 40 minutes after tea on Friday, completing what was in the end a straightforward victory to seal a spot in the quarterfinals of the Ranji Trophy. Karun Nair scored an unbeaten 71 as Karnataka chased down a target of 149 without fuss, defeating Baroda by eight wickets at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here. Nair’s men must now wait to see whom they will face in the knockouts.
Baroda held a lead of 60 runs going into the third morning, with five wickets in hand. It did not take the home side long to break through, Abhimanyusingh Rajput dragging Ronit More onto his stumps for 52. Bhargav Bhatt was then trapped leg-before by K. Gowtham for 6. Parth Kohli, though, resisted. The right-hander had been bowled off a no-ball, by More, when on 8 and he carried on to make 42. It was not until the second new-ball was taken that Karnataka was able to polish the tail off, Prasidh Krishna finishing with four for 45. Baroda’s resistance had lasted nearly two hours.
Karnataka lost Devdutt Padikkal six overs into the chase. On the stroke of lunch, the left-hander followed a slog-swept six off Bhargav Bhatt with another attempted big hit. He failed to the clear the fielder on the mid-wicket boundary on this occasion, however. It did not come to matter. Nair, who moved up to three because K.V. Siddharth was nursing a cut on the hand, held firm.
Baroda’s ploy was clear. From the BEML end, the left-arm spinner Bhatt bowled almost non-stop; he operated from over the wicket, landing the ball outside leg-stump, on the rough. Bhatt carried on with this negative line, but Nair stayed patient, happy to offer his front pad. The bowler eventually had to change his approach and come from around the stumps. Nair cut him twice to the point boundary. The battle had been won.
Samarth was dismissed by Bhatt for 25, the opener bowled playing inside the line to one that turned sharply. Nair and Siddharth then added 92 runs in an unbroken stand for the third wicket as Karnataka cruised home.
Brief scores: Baroda — 1st innings: 85
Baroda — 2nd innings: Kedar Devdhar c Dubey b Prasidh 15, Ahmadnoor Pathan c Sharath b Prasidh 90, Vishnu Solanki lbw b Gowtham 2, Deepak Hooda b More 50, Krunal Pandya c Padikkal b More 5, Abhimanyusingh Rajput b More 52, Parth Kohli lbw b Mithun 42, Bhargav Bhatt lbw b Gowtham 6, Soyeb Sopariya c Samarth b Prasidh 4, B. Pathan lbw b Prasidh 0, Viraj Bhosale (not out) 16; Extras (nb-7, b-4, lb-3): 14; Total (in 89.5 overs): 296.
Fall of wickets: 1-45, 2-48, 3-142, 4-159, 5-188, 6-240, 7-249, 8-280, 9-280, 10-296.
Karnataka bowling: Mithun 12-2-43-1, Prasidh 17.5-4-45-4, Gowtham 31-6-99-2, More 16-3-68-3, Deshpande 2-0-6-0, Shreyas 11-1-28-0. Karnataka — 2nd innings: R. Samarth b Bhatt 25, Devdutt Padikkal c Pratyush Kumar (sub) b Bhatt 6, Karun Nair (not out) 71, K.V. Siddharth (not out) 29; Extras (nb-3, w-7, b-1, lb-8): 19; Total (for 2 wickets in 44.4 overs): 150.
Baroda bowling: Sopariya 15-5-41-0, Rajput 9-3-22-0, Bhatt 19-5-62-2, Kohli 1.4-0-16-0.
Result: Karnataka won by 8 wickets.