Tamil Nadu hammer Karnataka by 7 wickets to enter Ranji Trophy semis

Visakhapatnam, Dec 24 (IANS) Tamil Nadu outplayed Karnataka by seven wickets on the second day of their Ranji Trophy cricket quarter-final match here on Saturday.

Resuming the day at 111-4 in their first innings, Tamil Nadu were bowled out for 152 but took a 64-run lead which proved crucial.

Karnataka fared a tad better than their first innings of 88 to score 152 all out in their second innings, thanks to India opener Lokesh Rahul’s 77.

They set a target of 86 runs for Tamil Nadu and the latter chased down the target with seven wickets and three days to spare and entered the semi-finals.

Karnataka, who were bundled out for a paltry score of 88 on the opening day, did their best to reduce Tamil Nadu’s first-innings lead. Tamil Nadu were 111-4 on Friday and with experienced Dinesh Karthik unbeaten on 31 and Abhinav Mukund not out 3, they were expected to push up the lead.

But Karthik failed to add any runs to his overnight score as he perished to seamer R. Vinay Kumar. Pacer Sreenath Aravind made it a great start when he removed new batsman Baba Aparajith (0) to deal a crucial blow to Tamil Nadu, who were reeling at 112-7.

Afterwards, Mukund hit a couple of fours but another wicket fell in the form of Ashwin Crist, who was hunted down by Vinay.

Abhimanyu Mithun then shocked Tamil Nadu by dismissing the last recognised batsman Mukund for 17. The last two wickets were taken by spinner Shreyas Gopal as Tamil Nadu were bowled out for 152.

Karnataka, in their second essay, were not good again. Medium pacers K. Vignesh (4-53) and T. Natarajan (3-40) starred with the ball for Tamil Nadu, picking up one wicket after another before they were bowled out for 150.

Only right-handed opener Rahul (77) saved Karnataka from falling for a similar score like the first innings. He waged a lone battle as he took the attack to the opposition. His knock had 13 hits to the fence and when he got dismissed with the team’s score at 130-8, his score contributed more than 50 percent of the total.

Tamil Nadu, with the target of just 86 runs, were driven again by Karthik (41). Tamil Nadu were also in a spot of bother at 35-3, losing Aparajith (18), Laxmesha Suryaprakash (9) and Kaushik Gandhi (2) cheaply.

But a small target of 88 was not going to trouble them as Baba Indrajith (16 not out) and Karthik (41 not out) chased down the total with an unbeaten 50-run stand.

Brief scores: Karnataka 88 all out and 150 (Lokesh Rahul 77; K. Vignesh 4-53, T. Natarajan 3-40) vs Tamil Nadu 152 (Vijay Shankar 34, Dinesh Karthik 31; Sreenath Aravind 3-16, Shreyas Gopal 2-1) and 87-3 (Dinesh Karthik 41 not out; Abhimanyu Mithun 1-7, Stuart Binny 1-26) on second day.

–IANS

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