Karnataka v Maharashtra, Ranji final, Hyderabad, 5th day February 2, 2014

Karnataka seal seventh Ranji Trophy title

The Report by Karthik Krishnaswamy in Hyderabad
39

Karnataka 515 (Rahul 131, Satish 117, Fallah 3-93) and 157 for 3 beat Maharashtra 305 (Bawne 89) and 366 (Jadhav 112, Vinay 4-116, Gopal 4-47) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

For the last three days, the Ranji Trophy had sat gleaming in the lowest tier of the Shivlal Yadav pavilion, right behind the Maharashtra dugout. At no point during the final had Maharashtra looked like they would get closer than that to holding it. Now came the moment when they would know for certain whether they still had a chance.

The morning session had gone to plan for Maharashtra. Their lower order had extended the lead past 150. Shrikant Mundhe, brought into the team as third seamer in place of Domnic Joseph because of his batting ability down the order, had scored 42. Samad Fallah and Anupam Sanklecha had bowled tight opening spells. On came Akshay Darekar, their left-arm spinner. This was their last chance. Karnataka were 17 for 0, chasing 157.

The pitch, ridden with cracks and footmarks, wasn't a pretty sight, but it had barely caused batsmen any sort of alarm for four days and a session. Had anything changed now?

Darekar's first ball was too short and too wide for that question to matter. Robin Uthappa cracked it past point for four. In the next over, Maharashtra brought on their offspinner, Chirag Khurana. Third ball of the over, Uthappa flicked him for four in front of midwicket.

Bang, bang. From day one, Karnataka had inched steadily towards victory. At times their tactics hadn't reflected their dominance. At times they looked like they had come close to giving their opponents a glimmer of hope. Now, with two dismissive strokes, Uthappa showed how illusory that hope had been.

At the other end, KL Rahul was being equally dismissive of Maharashtra's bowlers. In his case, he was telling them they couldn't work their way through or around his defensive strokes. And so it went, till the 15th over. At that point, Rahul - batting on 9 from 42 balls - came down the track and launched Khurana over mid-on's head for six. The umpires had to check if it had crossed the boundary before it bounced, but they didn't have to bother with anything of that sort the next ball, which Rahul struck even more sweetly in the same region. Khurana dropped the next ball short. Rahul cut him witheringly for four.

Darekar dismissed Uthappa the next over, and Rahul followed a little while later, edging Shrikant Mundhe to slip. Rahul trudged disconsolately off the ground, and, approaching the stairs to the Karnataka dressing room, raised his bat as if to strike its handrail, and stopped himself. He had scored a century in the first innings. He had seen off the difficult part of the chase, and left his team just 70 to get, with eight wickets in hand. He had made over a thousand runs in the season. It wasn't enough. He looked like he wanted, desperately, to be there at the end and score the winning runs.

Who would that task fall to? It wasn't to be Uthappa. It wouldn't be Amit Verma, who made 38 before Khurana dismissed him, flying to his right in his follow-through to grab hold of a fierce straight drive. Both of them had been part of Karnataka's team in the 2009-10 final, which they had lost by six runs to Mumbai.

Suhas Suresh had travelled from Bangalore to Mysore to watch that final. Now, he was in Hyderabad, waving a red and yellow flag and screaming himself hoarse. He had been there from the first ball. "Come on Manish," he yelled, in Kannada. "Finish it!"

Manish Pandey had been in that final too, four years ago. He had scored a blistering 151-ball 144 in the fourth innings, as Karnataka attempted to chase 338. Now, they needed far less. After a wild slog to the second ball he faced, Pandey had reined himself in, before hastening the end by smacking Samad Fallah for two fours in an over.

It wasn't to be Pandey either. With 10 runs needed, Karun Nair tried to reverse-sweep Khurana, and edged it for four between the stumps and the wicketkeeper. Once again Khurana skipped in. Nair skipped down the pitch. It was his first season in first-class cricket. He had scored centuries in three successive matches, leading up to the final. Now, he sent the ball soaring over the long-on boundary.

Karnataka's eleven had eight players who had experienced the heartbreak of the 2009-10 final. It also had Rahul, Nair and Shreyas Gopal, who had all established themselves in the last two seasons. And the eleven players who won the final were by no means the only ones responsible for winning the title.

In all, 19 players had played some part in their triumph, some part in an unbeaten season, in a season that had seen their team win seven matches outright, six of them on the bounce. All 19 were at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, including Stuart Binny, who had flown here from New Zealand after the end of India's one-day series. Now, everyone swooped to the middle. This was their moment.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor in ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • adi_das on February 5, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    Congratulations Karnataka Ranji Team and the fans! You deserved this win. As a Maharashtrian, I am disappointed with the loss, but still, this is no small achievement to play well and reach the finals. I hope this serves as a start for better and consistent results in the future.

  • Ranganath_Sadasiva on February 3, 2014, 15:44 GMT

    This Karnataka squad showed that a committed and focused TEAM effort yield's results!!! and what a result.. the Ranji Trophy after a long hiatus and some really painstaking looses in the past!! Well done and Well deserved.....

    I share the view of many ardent cricket fans that this team had many 'Christmas Stars' who rose to the occasions throughout the tournament. However, I would credit captain Vinay Kumar for giving this team the character that is needed to win tournaments like this... Willing, Hardworking and absolutely enjoying!

    I am sure this is TEAM capable of doing many more things in the coming years... Wishing them the very best for the Irani Trophy and for some guys making it to the India team..

  • CricNcode on February 3, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    Fantastic performance from Karnataka...Well deserved victory. Congratulations!!

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on February 3, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    Heartbreaking to see my state lose, but Karnataka deserves the trophy. They were the most consistent team this season.

  • on February 3, 2014, 11:42 GMT

    well deserved victory for karnataka! the most pleasing aspect was their team work and the fact that as many as 8 different batsmen have scored 100s for them this season... hope rahul and Manish pandey represent India at some point... uthappa s trying hard but he needs some luck if he s to be selected in the future...well played guys!:)

  • Dysan25 on February 3, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    Great to see consistent performance from the whole team .. especially that 6 match winning streak .. even players who were rotated came to the party like they were already settled in the match condition .. Maharashtra were great till semi-finals but not up to the mark in the final, but credit to them to take it till the final day .. Very good match .. and deserving champions in Karnataka ..

  • Farce-Follower on February 3, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    Fantastic performance. Rahul and Karun Nair certainly deserve to represent India A and then hopefully India itself.Superb temperaments. Robin and Manish deserve to be in the India ODI squads.

  • vipinchirackal on February 3, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    as soon as one performs well in one match everybody started to cry to give him a chnace in the indian team.latest edition is manish pandey.he has was a clear failure in this year renji trophy.but he put up an average preformance in the final and evrybody decided he has the intl standard to play for the country.selectors very well know whome to be included in the team.when there are consistant players like karun nair and rahul dont cry for manish pandey

  • hnlns on February 3, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    They deserved this trophy the most, having played some consistently good cricket on all sorts of surfaces at different venues across the country. Hope they will play hard and positive cricket to win the Irani Cup also to add to the glory. All the best team Karnataka, keep the party going.....

  • PerfectTen on February 3, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    Hearty Congratulations Karnataka on a Great win! With the national team turning in lack-lustre performances outside the country, the Ranji season provided for some great competing cricket. Deservedly, the team which performed consistently throughout on all the aspects of the game got to lift the coveted trophy. Also consistent was Vinay's ability to extricate the team from sticky situations - either through his own bowling (& batting!!) or through bold leadership decisions. Here, he proves himself much better than his much glamorous counterparts like Bhajji, Gambhir, Dinesh Kartik etc. In addition, their bench strength looks quite solid.

  • adi_das on February 5, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    Congratulations Karnataka Ranji Team and the fans! You deserved this win. As a Maharashtrian, I am disappointed with the loss, but still, this is no small achievement to play well and reach the finals. I hope this serves as a start for better and consistent results in the future.

  • Ranganath_Sadasiva on February 3, 2014, 15:44 GMT

    This Karnataka squad showed that a committed and focused TEAM effort yield's results!!! and what a result.. the Ranji Trophy after a long hiatus and some really painstaking looses in the past!! Well done and Well deserved.....

    I share the view of many ardent cricket fans that this team had many 'Christmas Stars' who rose to the occasions throughout the tournament. However, I would credit captain Vinay Kumar for giving this team the character that is needed to win tournaments like this... Willing, Hardworking and absolutely enjoying!

    I am sure this is TEAM capable of doing many more things in the coming years... Wishing them the very best for the Irani Trophy and for some guys making it to the India team..

  • CricNcode on February 3, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    Fantastic performance from Karnataka...Well deserved victory. Congratulations!!

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on February 3, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    Heartbreaking to see my state lose, but Karnataka deserves the trophy. They were the most consistent team this season.

  • on February 3, 2014, 11:42 GMT

    well deserved victory for karnataka! the most pleasing aspect was their team work and the fact that as many as 8 different batsmen have scored 100s for them this season... hope rahul and Manish pandey represent India at some point... uthappa s trying hard but he needs some luck if he s to be selected in the future...well played guys!:)

  • Dysan25 on February 3, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    Great to see consistent performance from the whole team .. especially that 6 match winning streak .. even players who were rotated came to the party like they were already settled in the match condition .. Maharashtra were great till semi-finals but not up to the mark in the final, but credit to them to take it till the final day .. Very good match .. and deserving champions in Karnataka ..

  • Farce-Follower on February 3, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    Fantastic performance. Rahul and Karun Nair certainly deserve to represent India A and then hopefully India itself.Superb temperaments. Robin and Manish deserve to be in the India ODI squads.

  • vipinchirackal on February 3, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    as soon as one performs well in one match everybody started to cry to give him a chnace in the indian team.latest edition is manish pandey.he has was a clear failure in this year renji trophy.but he put up an average preformance in the final and evrybody decided he has the intl standard to play for the country.selectors very well know whome to be included in the team.when there are consistant players like karun nair and rahul dont cry for manish pandey

  • hnlns on February 3, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    They deserved this trophy the most, having played some consistently good cricket on all sorts of surfaces at different venues across the country. Hope they will play hard and positive cricket to win the Irani Cup also to add to the glory. All the best team Karnataka, keep the party going.....

  • PerfectTen on February 3, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    Hearty Congratulations Karnataka on a Great win! With the national team turning in lack-lustre performances outside the country, the Ranji season provided for some great competing cricket. Deservedly, the team which performed consistently throughout on all the aspects of the game got to lift the coveted trophy. Also consistent was Vinay's ability to extricate the team from sticky situations - either through his own bowling (& batting!!) or through bold leadership decisions. Here, he proves himself much better than his much glamorous counterparts like Bhajji, Gambhir, Dinesh Kartik etc. In addition, their bench strength looks quite solid.

  • mqry on February 3, 2014, 6:14 GMT

    Fitting tribute to Wodeyar. and the previous administrations vision of more facilites, more grounds, bigger pool of players. Hopefully Karnataka team should get a few more titles

  • Ashwin_Mysore on February 3, 2014, 6:03 GMT

    Robin and Manish should have been established at the highest level by this time...Looks like KL Rahul and Karun Nair have good temperment.....Rock guys..let the glory of Karnataka cricket shine again....bring home the Irani Trophy

  • santhu_yal on February 3, 2014, 4:26 GMT

    Super Show by Karnataka, Hope to see them Pandey and Rahul make it to Indian Team

  • on February 3, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    Congratulations to the entire team for winning the ranji trophy. It has been a team effort and hope to see the same consistent performance in the coming years.

  • New_castle on February 2, 2014, 22:45 GMT

    Congratulations to team Karnataka! There is not much rest before the Irani Trophy game against Rest of India. Good luck in that match too!

  • crkt4evr on February 2, 2014, 19:21 GMT

    great team...all the player are impressive

  • on February 2, 2014, 18:43 GMT

    Every body telling Rahul bt every forgetten manish pandey he is one of the talent in india his age guys manoj thivary ..kohli they are in india squad bt manish unfortunetly nt in india a squad..plese selectore give chance him..even robin also played 5 maches 400 runs 1 cenchury and 2 fiftys remain he came from injurees .without mach practice he played .this 2 people nt egnore they have very talent and mach winners cinsider fr them .Robin fr davan place..manish from raina or rahane place..

  • jaygoogly on February 2, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    Awesome. There is a lot of passion for Cricket in Karnataka. Ranji Trophy found a deserving home! Well done team Karnataka

  • vivDel on February 2, 2014, 17:38 GMT

    Congratulations Team Karnataka !! for truly a well earned and deserved sweet victory.

  • on February 2, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    Well played Karnataka, congratulations... no match for karnataka, clear winners, well played rahul, sharath,... want to see u in national team..

  • DaredevilsUnlimited on February 2, 2014, 17:02 GMT

    Great win for Karnataka boys they deserve red the premier title solely of consistent performances right from first match till finals.Dreams have come true to match Delhi in the no of wins which I am sure it will be surpassed next year by our boys.The support staff has to be complimented for the success.All of u richly deserved the title.The future of Rahul Sharath shreyas and Karin will rise to higher levels in none too distant future.Star is to be given kudos on covering Ranji matches and in future they should cover 2 matches instead of bi-lingual channels.

  • crookedfinger on February 2, 2014, 16:48 GMT

    Well played Karnataka. A very well deserved victory for them. A true champion team.

  • sumukhsj on February 2, 2014, 16:07 GMT

    Thank's a lot cricinfo for giving a detailed coverage of all ranji matches...Jai kARNATAKA...

  • JRP100 on February 2, 2014, 15:51 GMT

    karnataka and maharashtra were the only teams with consistent players across a majority of the squads. Other teams had too many one or two man armys or were just generally inconsistent (punjab). From this final rahul, gopal, jadhav and bawne have all increased their chances for making the national side at some point in their career, although only jadhav has a chance of making the squad this year as he has the experience and is a good ODI player (which is handy given the current state of indias middle order) unlike bawne. Hopefully the rest of india squad looks like this for the one off game jiwanjot singh, khadiwale, bawne, s tiwary, jadhav, naman ojha(wk), rishi dhawan(c), jalaj saxena, pankaj singh, anureet singh and pragyan ojha (had to throw him in as theres no other quality spinners and he hasnt played a game in a while, also should test the karnataka batsmen well)

  • vinudupa on February 2, 2014, 15:29 GMT

    excellent work by the karnataka team........it would have been sweeter it would have been mumbai in the final instead of MAHARASHTRA........however congrats to MAHARASHTRA also for their excellent performance !!!!hope selectors take note of players like keda jadhav,manish pandey,sharath ........instead of continuing with same old RAINA,ISHANT SHARMA etc

  • raghanna on February 2, 2014, 15:12 GMT

    I have been waiting for ages. The bitter defeat at Mysore was galling. This team is a wonderful combination of youth and experience. The coaches too have played a seminal role. Hope this will last for a few more years. Vinay Kumar is a gutsy player who makes up for great talent by commitment and hard work

  • RajeshNaik on February 2, 2014, 15:05 GMT

    Once Rahul and Robin saw off the initial spell of Fallah, it was all too easy. Robin, again proved how inconsistent and unnecessarily adventurous he can be by getting out to a silly stroke. And it was also nice strategy by Karnataka to send in Amit Verma at no.3 to counter the off the rough spin bowling. Overall a very good Ranji campaign comes to an end for Karnataka. Karnataka last won the Ranji trophy in 1999. The present coaches, JAK & MAK were the members of that team as players. Now, when Karnataka wins again after 15 years, they are the coaches. Congratulations to the team, coaches and the support staff.

  • on February 2, 2014, 14:52 GMT

    well done boys.......

  • on February 2, 2014, 14:51 GMT

    congrats .next is Irani trophy and if they win that it will be fitting end to this season .the good thing about this team is the bench strength and every player is coming to the party at the right time

  • pull_shot on February 2, 2014, 14:16 GMT

    Congrats to Karnataka, but well played Maharastra they have done spectacularly well

  • SomashekarKrishnappa on February 2, 2014, 14:14 GMT

    Congrats Karnataka. Sirgandamgelge! I am presently residing in USA and I watched / followed all games during nights and deserved my late night hooking to Karnataka Ranji matches. @KarnatakaRanjiteam too helped me update the scores when there was no updates anywhere. Thanks to them too. All players came up so well including the senior players too. The bowling coache Mansoor ali Khan and Batting Coach Arunkumar deserve the credits in this win. I could also see all the support staff helping in this endeavor and making it a memorable success.

  • ImpartialObserver on February 2, 2014, 14:05 GMT

    Jaya jaya he Karnataka!!! Great going our Karnataka tigers! You've done us all proud. And yes, next target is Irani Trophy. You are too good a team not to win it. And then, most important, old Rahul from Karnataka should be replaced by the new Rahul from Karnataka itself. And add Shreyas Gopal for good measure.

  • Kashi0127 on February 2, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    Congrats Vnay and entire Karnataka team, richly deserved. But a suggestion to BCCI - please have the final played in either one of competing team's ground instead of a neutral ground. For gods sakebthis is not India aznd Pakistan playing each other. I felt really sorry for both the teams playing in a totally empty stadium

  • nagSomayaji on February 2, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    We need all of them in RBC

  • on February 2, 2014, 13:24 GMT

    Congrats great teamwork hope Rahul n Shreyas will make it to national team shortly

  • on February 2, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    very much deserved win for karnataka. outplayed almost all the team in this tournment. fantastic bowling, consistency in bowling and perfect coordination...

  • on February 2, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    Ranji winners hertly congrtes karnataka boys..next win irani also and vijay hajare also...great work vinay and team...Robin.Rahul.manish .nayar key players fr irani trophy

  • on February 2, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    Congrats karnataka team. Good luck for Irini trophy also. This season Kl rahul, shrayas gopal, Kuran nair and sharath are emerging players.

  • on February 2, 2014, 11:58 GMT

    jai ho karnataka

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on February 2, 2014, 11:58 GMT

    jai ho karnataka

  • on February 2, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    Congrats karnataka team. Good luck for Irini trophy also. This season Kl rahul, shrayas gopal, Kuran nair and sharath are emerging players.

  • on February 2, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    Ranji winners hertly congrtes karnataka boys..next win irani also and vijay hajare also...great work vinay and team...Robin.Rahul.manish .nayar key players fr irani trophy

  • on February 2, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    very much deserved win for karnataka. outplayed almost all the team in this tournment. fantastic bowling, consistency in bowling and perfect coordination...

  • on February 2, 2014, 13:24 GMT

    Congrats great teamwork hope Rahul n Shreyas will make it to national team shortly

  • nagSomayaji on February 2, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    We need all of them in RBC

  • Kashi0127 on February 2, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    Congrats Vnay and entire Karnataka team, richly deserved. But a suggestion to BCCI - please have the final played in either one of competing team's ground instead of a neutral ground. For gods sakebthis is not India aznd Pakistan playing each other. I felt really sorry for both the teams playing in a totally empty stadium

  • ImpartialObserver on February 2, 2014, 14:05 GMT

    Jaya jaya he Karnataka!!! Great going our Karnataka tigers! You've done us all proud. And yes, next target is Irani Trophy. You are too good a team not to win it. And then, most important, old Rahul from Karnataka should be replaced by the new Rahul from Karnataka itself. And add Shreyas Gopal for good measure.

  • SomashekarKrishnappa on February 2, 2014, 14:14 GMT

    Congrats Karnataka. Sirgandamgelge! I am presently residing in USA and I watched / followed all games during nights and deserved my late night hooking to Karnataka Ranji matches. @KarnatakaRanjiteam too helped me update the scores when there was no updates anywhere. Thanks to them too. All players came up so well including the senior players too. The bowling coache Mansoor ali Khan and Batting Coach Arunkumar deserve the credits in this win. I could also see all the support staff helping in this endeavor and making it a memorable success.

  • pull_shot on February 2, 2014, 14:16 GMT

    Congrats to Karnataka, but well played Maharastra they have done spectacularly well