Shreyas, Vinay seal title for Karnataka
Karnataka 606 (Binny 122, Gautam 122, Pankaj 6-122) beat Rest of India 201 (Karthik 91, Vinay 6-47) and 183 (Aparajith 66, Shreyas 4-35, Vinay 4-70) by an innings and 222 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Karnataka ended their golden first-class season with their eighth outright win in nine matches with Vinay Kumar registering his fourth first-class 10-wicket haul on his 30th birthday, and legspinner Shreyas Gopal delivering Karnataka's eighth first-class hat-trick to run through the tail. In the process, Karnataka became the first Ranji champion side to win the Irani Cup in the last nine seasons.
The win for Karnataka was imminent with a huge first-innings lead to their credit and only seven wickets left to take, but they will be pleased with the hurry it came with. Vinay and Abhimanyu Mithun began the morning with long spells. Vinay bowled nine overs on the trot for 43 runs and picked up the crucial wickets of overnight batsman Dinesh Karthik and then Mandeep Singh. Both batsmen fell to what looked like outswingers, but seamed and skidded after pitching. Karthik was bowled while Mandeep caught in front. Amit Mishra, whom CM Gautam dropped on nought, soon ran himself out, and it was all Shryeas after that.
Harbhajan Singh holed out to mid-on, half-centurion Baba Aparajith ran out of partners and found long-off looking for quick runs. The next two balls were wrong'uns that went through the big bat-pad gap provided by Ashok Dinda and Pankaj Singh. Pankaj's wicket also marked the end of the match, and loud cheering among the 50 or so spectators that turned up.
Vinay, who became the third Karnataka captain to have won both Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup as a Karnataka captain, said the win was a great birthday gift from his team to him. "It's a great feeling," he said, "We have been waiting for 15 years as a team, and I have been waiting for 10 years as a player to play for Karnataka in the Irani Cup. It's been a great performance by the team. Everyone who got a chance to play has performed well, and it's been a great experience to lead such wonderful bunch of players."
Vinay was also full of praise for J Arun Kumar and Mansoor Ali Khan, the batting and bowling coaches of the side. "They have been both part of Ranji- and Irani-winning squads, and they used to tell us about the feeling of being double champions. They instilled the feeling of togetherness, and they were more of friends than coaches. It was a pleasure to have them around and work with them."
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo