Abhimanyu Mithun mopped up the Maharashtra tail with a triple strike and helped Karnataka register a thrilling eight-wicket win in the penultimate mandatory over of their Group ‘B’ league match at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium here on Tuesday. The victory put Karnataka in the quarterfinal where it will meet Saurashtra.

C.M. Gautam, who scored a double century in the first innings, found the fence with a delicate reverse sweep and a fierce cut to propel his team to victory with eight balls remaining.

Karnataka lost Kunal Kapoor quickly, but K.L. Rahul and Stuart Binny added 48 for the second wicket, hitting six boundaries during their partnership. Karnataka (21) finished third in the group behind Uttar Pradesh (33) and Baroda (22).

After being kept on the field for most part of the day by a resolute Ankit Bawne (155 not out, 493m, 354b, 24x4, 1x6), Karnataka celebrated when Mithun sent tailender Samad Fallah’s stumps flying off the second ball of the first mandatory over.

The speedster quickly removed two more batsmen, leaving his team with a target of 89 off 78 balls.

With Delhi failing to register an outright win at Nagpur, Karnataka needed a win to progress.

Earlier, medium-pacer H.S. Sharath bowled two lively spells, removing Rohit Motwani, Prayag Bhati and Rahul Tripathi. He was also involved in Kedar Jadhav’s dismissal when he caught him off Moinuddin.

Bawne remained unperturbed by the fall of wickets at the other end, staying unbeaten and scoring his second century against Karnataka and sixth in the Ranji Trophy.

Just when it seemed that Maharashtra would thwart Karnataka, Mithun bent his back and struck, removing Shrikant Mundhe, Satyajit Bacchav and Fallah.

Bawne had a stroke of luck on 98 when Amit Verma dropped a straightforward chance at gully off Mithun. Though Verma sent back Sachin Chaudhary with his leg spin, the fielding lapse almost cost his team the match.

The scores:

Karnataka — 1st innings: 572 for nine decl.

Maharashtra — 1st innings: 99.

Maharashtra — 2nd innings: H. Khadiwale b Moinuddin 136, S. Atitkar c Verma b Sharath 78, A. Bawne (not out) 155, R. Motwani c Kunal b Sharath 21, P. Bhati c sub (Karun) b Sharath 24, K. Jadhav c Sharath b Moinuddin 34, R. Tripathi c Gautam b Sharath 29, S. Mundhe c Rahul b Mithun 28, S. Bacchav c Sharath b Mithun 0, S. Chaudhari lbw b Verma 14, S. Fallah b Mithun 4; Extras (b-16, lb-16, nb-3, w-3): 38; Total (in 149.2 overs): 561.

Fall of wickets: 1-156, 2-302, 3-351, 4-385, 5-430, 6-483, 7-533, 8-535, 9-557.

Karnataka bowling: Sharath 34-7-100-4, Mithun 32.2-8-122-3, Binny 24-6-83-0, Gowtham 29-8-87-0, Moinuddin 22-3-104-2, Verma 6-1-23-1, Kunal 2-0-10-0.

Karnataka — 2nd innings: Kunal Kapoor c sub (Khurana) b Chaudhari 8, K.L. Rahul (not out) 42, S. Binny b Bacchav 25, C.M. Gautam (not out) 16; Extras (nb-1): 1; Total (for two wkts. in 11.4 overs): 92.

Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-69.

Maharashtra bowling: Fallah 6-0-47-0, Chaudhari 4-0-30-1, Bacchav 1.4-0-15-1.

Keywords: Ranji Trophy

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