Karnataka nicked Ranji Trophy in eight seasons before. In the semi-final fixture against Vidarbha, the team was defeat by 5 runs, while the winners reach the final as a maiden breakthrough. All the team had to do was to chase the score of 194. There was a good chance for winning the match, but the batting line up found a complete wobble, attacked by Rajneesh Gurbani.
In the after-match interview, Vinay Kumar, the captain of Karnataka stated that chasing 194 was ‘not a difficult task’ accepting the failure of their batting front. The captain said, the team required only nine runs to win, when the chase came down to the last players. He said, the team could have been ‘more sensible’. On a saddened note, the captain said his team ‘does not deserve to be in final’. He also blamed his own form saying, “most of us played bad shots, including me”. The captain lamented, he should have let the ball go to the wicket-keeper.
Throughout the tournament, Karnataka was the most favorite team with hefty wins in league and quarter-final sessions. The team was on top of Group A chart. In the league stage, Karnataka toppled teams like Assam, Hyderabad, Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Railways. It also knocked out Mumbai from the campaign. However, the defeat by 5 runs came out as a turning point, where the team lost a winning match. The captain said that ‘it feels bad’ as the team did well in previous matches of the tournament.
Karnataka was equipped with some of the best players of the season. For example, Mayank Agarwal and Krishnappa Gowtham. The former is the leading run scorer of the tournament with an aggregate of 1160 runs. While Gowtham had 34 dismissals in just 8 innings, finishing as the third wicket-taker of the season. Vinay Kumar, however, had to accolade Rajneesh Gurbani saying “his energy levels were really good.” He said, Gurbani bowled in areas where Karnataka batsmen were not comfortable.
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