March 7, 2003

Joshi bowls Karnataka to an emphatic win

Staff Reporter

Karnataka have thrashed Kerala by an innings and 11 runs to win the Ranji Plate final played at the M Chinnaswamy stadium, Bangalore. The hosts, who began the third day at 293/5, went on to make 405 before being all out, gaining a first-innings lead of 215 runs. They, then, bowled Kerala out for 204 to seal their emphatic win in three days.

In the morning, Karnataka lost Sunil Joshi (2) with the addition of just one run to their overnight total. Next man C Raghu too did not last long, making just eight, before falling to Sunil Oasis. But Naidu, who began the day on 35 not out, and Dodda Ganesh managed to put on 26 runs for the eighth wicket, before Naidu (59) fell.

After the wicketkeeper batsman's dismissal, Ganesh took over the helmsman's role, hitting out merrily on his way to 50 off 60 balls with the aid of eight fours and a six before he became the last man to be dismissed. The hosts by then had gained a massive first-innings lead and were in a position to press on for an innings win. For Kerala, veteran leg-spinner KN Ananthapadmanabhan, who claimed five wickets, was the most successful bowler.

The visitors made an indifferent start to their second innings with one of their stars Sujith Somasunder being dismissed for just 19 with his team's score reading 29/1 in the 10th over, It was all downhill for Kerala from there on with left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi claiming six wickets and running through their batting order.

Only C Hemant Kumar, who made 44, and M Suresh Kumar, who made 33, put up any resistance, as the visitors slumped to an ignominious defeat. They can, though, gain comfort from their showing in the rest of their matches this season which has seen them graduate into the Elite Group with Karnataka.