Ranji Trophy; Saurashtra, Bengal , Karnataka join Gujarat in Semi-Finals

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 2/25/2020 10:45:58 AM

JAMMU, Feb 24: A seven-star performance from spin wizard Krishnappa Gowtham helped Karnataka get to their second successive Ranji Trophy semifinal. The off-spinner claimed seven wickets in the second innings against Jammu & Kashmir at the Gandhi Memorial Science College Ground to give his team a comprehensive 167 run victory.
Having been set a daunting target of 330 in the fourth innings, the home team Jammu & Kashmir started off brightly and were 46/1 when Gowtham was introduced into the attack. The 31-year-old picked up a wicket almost immediately, dismissing opener and second highest run getter Shubham Khajuria in just his second over.
That dismissal triggered a swift collapse, orchestrated by Gowtham who picked up two of the next four wickets, reducing the hosts from 46/1 to 53/5. Alongside Gowtham, fellow Kings XI Punjab player Jagadeesha Suchith also chipped in on the action, dismissing opposition wicket-keeper Fazil Rashid just when Jammu & Kashmir were looking to build a partnership.
That wicket broke the back of the Jammu & Kashmir chase, and Gowtham did the rest as he cleaned up the tailenders in close to no time. The off-spinner picked up the last four wickets of the game to end with figures of 7/54.
With this match-winning performance, Gowtham has now become the leading wicket-taker for Karnataka this Ranji Trophy season with 57 scalps to his name. It has been a season to remember for the bowling all-rounder, who registered his best ever domestic figures of 8/60 in a Ranji game against Tamil Nadu a few months back.
Karnataka, a team captained by seasoned KXIP player Karun Nair, will now play the semi-finals against Bengal on February 29. Bengal chalked their path to the semi-finals after winning through a first innings lead against Odisha, thanks to another Kings XI Punjab player Ishan Porel, who picked 3/72 in the first innings.
Bengal stormed into the Ranji Trophy semi-finals by virtue of their first innings lead over Odisha while Karnataka thrashed Jammu and Kashmir to set up a semi-final date with the former after the final day's play on Monday. Resuming on 361/7, Bengal lost their remaining three wickets for just 12 runs inside six overs to set Odisha an improbable 456-run target. Odisha were 39/0 in 10 overs when bad light stopped play as both the teams agreed upon a stalemate at the DRIEMS College ground.
Bengal qualified by virtue of their first innings lead of 82 runs, and will take on Karnataka in the semi-final starting from February 29 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Saurashtra will take on Gujarat who had already qualified for the semis, at Rajkot from February 29. Gujarat beat Goa and became the first team to reach the semifinals on Sunday.



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