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The Report by Vishal Dikshit in Bangalore
December 25, 2013
Karnataka 251 (Rahul 133, Thakur 4-65) and 299 (Pandey 119) beat Mumbai 269 (Lad 93, Sharath 5-57) and 121 (Sharath 3-12, Vinay 3-32) by 160 runs
The Karnataka pacers rattled the Mumbai batting order to register their first-ever outright win against the Ranji heavyweights in 22 attempts, and their fourth consecutive this season. Set a target of 282 in 83 overs, Mumbai were skittled for 122 as Vinay Kumar, Abhimanyu Mithun and HS Sharath ran through the visitors' line-up sharing eight wickets among them.
No Mumbai batsman could cross 30, falling for either incoming deliveries or handing easy catches. This was Mumbai's first Ranji loss in six years, since the setback against Hyderabad in December 2006.
Karnataka, meanwhile, stretched their lead at the top of Group A after bagging six points while Mumbai slipped to the third place behind Gujarat and level with Punjab, after leading the table earlier in the season.
Despite hurting their ankles in the last two days, Vinay and Mithun exploited the new ball and rocked Mumbai's top order. Mumbai opened with Kaustubh Pawar and D Subramanian, instead of Aditya Tare. After beating the batsmen with his prodigious outswing, Vinay dismissed Subramanian with one that clipped the off stump after pitching on middle. He got one to swing the other way to Tare to rattle his stumps, leaving Mumbai on 21 for 2.
The big fish, Wasim Jaffer, fell at the other end in what looked like an lbw decision with an incoming delivery, like the first innings, but he was given out caught at gully after deflection off his pads. Jaffer confirmed later that he had actually not edged the ball. A cautious Pawar continued at the other end and took the score to 50 but fell soon when he edged to the keeper off Sharath for a 71-ball 10. Mumbai were staring down the barrel at 50 for 4.
Lad, who was dropped on 6 by Vinay off his own bowling, and Hiken Shah resisted for over an hour after lunch. The two batsmen stayed patient, but Shreyas Gopal triggered a lower-order collapse after trapping Shah lbw in his first over.
Lad succumbed under pressure, pulling one to deep midwicket off Sharath for 24, and with 40 overs left, the match was virtually over. Gopal struck again in his next over, getting Suryakumar Yadav caught at slip. Mumbai's 93 for 4 became 93 for 7.
Sharath continued to rattle the lower order with bounce and pace. He picked up his third wicket trapping Saurabh Netravalkar on the back foot - the ball keeping low - for a duck and Shardul Thakur fell five runs later. Sharath was named the Man of the Match for eight wickets in the match.
Vinay brought himself back and wrapped up the match as Javed Khan was caught by Karun Nair at gully. The crowd erupted along with the rest of the Karnataka players, who ran out from the dressing room.
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