The Ranji Trophy semi-final match between Karnataka and Vidarbha had lots of drama attached to it. It was a very close encounter as both the sides tried their level best to clinch the game. But in the end, it was Vidarbha who had the last laugh courtesy of some brilliant bowling by Rajneesh Gurbani.
Vidarbha went out to bat first in the crucial semi-final tie, and their performance with the willow was not up to the mark. They were bundled out for a low score of 185 with Aditya Sarwate top scoring for them with 47 runs. Karnataka bowled excellently, and Abhimanyu Mithun was the pick of the bowlers with five scalps for just 45 runs.
In reply, Karnataka took a huge lead as they successfully crossed the 300 run mark. Karun Nair played an exceptional knock of 153 runs which helped Karnataka build a huge first innings lead. Coming out to bat in the second innings Vidarbha needed to improve on their first innings batting show and they did.
With heavy contributions from the middle order, Vidarbha posted a total of 313 runs on the board which meant that Karnataka needed just 197 runs to move to the finals. Looking at the way Karnataka batted in the first innings and keeping in mind Karun Nair’s form one would have thought that it would be a cake walk for Karnataka. But Vidarbha bowler Rajneesh Gurbani had other plans and was determined to take his side to the all-important final.
Gurbani bowled like a champion and rattled the Karnataka middle order which took Vidarbha to a position of strength. Vidarbha needed just three wickets the next day and were the favourites. The Karnataka lower order remained stubborn, and the likes of Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun tried hard to get their team over the line. But it was hard to get past Rajneesh Gurbani who picked up all three wickets in the morning session as Karnataka fell short by just five runs at a score of 192.
It was a wonderful and entertaining match between the two sides who played some wonderful cricket trying to outclass each other. According to the result, it is Vidarbha who booked a place in the final and would be playing Delhi at the Holkar Stadium, Indore.