Bengal defeated Karnataka by 174 runs on the fourth day of the Ranji Trophy semi-finals to advance to the Ranji Trophy final for the first time in 13 years. In this Bengal victory at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, fast bowler Mukesh Kumar took six wickets while performing his career-best. Now in the final, Bengal will face the winner of another semi-final between Gujarat and Saurashtra in Rajkot. The last will played from March 9, but the Bengal team will have to play this match on the ground of the opposing team.
Mukesh took six wickets for 61 runs, chasing the target of 352 runs. Karnataka’s team reduced to 177 runs in 55.3 overs in the second innings. Ishan Porel and Akash Deep also took two wickets each from Bengal.
The Karnataka team came out to play on 98 for three on Tuesday, and the team lost the remaining seven wickets in the morning session by adding 79 runs in 16.3 overs. Bengal won their last Ranji title in 1989–90 during Sourav Ganguly’s debut season, while the team last made it to the finals in 2007. But in the final, he was defeated by Mumbai by 132 runs.
Bengal also prevented Karnataka from making a trio of titles. Karnataka recently won the domestic ODI (Vijay Hazare Trophy) and T20 tournament (Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy). The team was earlier successful in making the title trio for the second consecutive time in 2014-15.
In the third over of Ranji Trophy day, Mukesh caught Manish Pandey (12) behind the wicket at the hands of Srivats Goswami and then in the next over, VK Siddharth (00) and S Sharat (00) sent successive balls to Karnataka, hoping to return to Karnataka. Finished
Devdutt Padikkal, who came out to bat at number three, scored an innings of 62 runs. But could not save Karnataka from the semi-final defeat for the third consecutive year. Mukesh caught him in the hands of Goswami. He took five or more wickets in the innings for the fourth time in 21 first-class matches. He hit seven fours in his innings of 129 balls. After this, it did not take long for Karnataka’s innings to reduced. For Bengal, all the 20 wickets in the match made by the fast bowlers.