Tamil Nadu came out on top in the southern derby as they crushed Karnataka by seven wickets in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final in Vizag. The low-scoring match lasted just two of the five days as Tamil Nadu became the first team to enter the semi-finals of the 2016/17 Ranji Trophy season.
It was sweet revenge for Tamil Nadu, who entered the match without the services of Ravichandran Ashwin and Murali Vijay. For former India wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik, who became the second Tamil Nadu player to play 100 First-Class matches after Sridharan Sharath, the joy of scoring some vital runs and getting Tamil Nadu over the line on a dodgy pitch would have been immense.
Tamil Nadu seamers caused havoc as Karnataka, packed with India squad members KL Rahul, Chennai Test triple centurion Karun Nair and Manish Pandey, besides Stuart Binny, Vinay Kumar and Abimanyu Mithun, didn’t last 40 overs in either innings.
After Karnataka were put in and routed for 88 thanks to paceman Aswin Crist’s haul of 6/31, Tamil Nadu managed a crucial 64-run lead with Karthik (31) and Vijay Shankar (34) chipping in with vital contributions. For Karnataka, seamer Sreenath Aravind managed figures of 17-10-16-3.
In the second innings, the Karnataka top order started steadily with opener Rahul and Kaunain Abbas sharing a 61-run stand. However, once Abbas fell to Krishnamoorthy Vignesh, Karnataka lost five wickets for 12 runs.
Rahul, fresh from his 199 in the Chennai Test, held firm and scored a magnificent 77 but it was not enough as Karnataka were bundled out for 150.
Karun Nair, fresh from becoming the second Indian batsman to score a triple century, managed just 14 and 12. He batted at No 8 in the second innings, reportedly due to an injury.
Chasing 87 to win, Tamil Nadu lost three quick wickets but Karthik blasted 41 off 30 balls to steer the team home. Karthik will be aiming to break Tamil Nadu’s 28-year Ranji Trophy wait, having last won in 1988 by defeating Railways.