Karnataka starts with a bangOctober 18, 2017
Karnataka may have been guilty of starting previous Ranji Trophy campaigns sluggishly, but there can be no such accusation this time.
R. Vinay Kumar’s men wrapped things up without fuss or complaint on Tuesday morning, dismissing the four remaining Assam batsmen in an hour to complete victory by an innings and 121 runs at the SDNRW ground here. The captain claimed three of those wickets, as Karnataka earned seven points to move to second spot in Group A.
“It’s always good to start the season with a bonus point,” Vinay said later. “If you look back, we had a bad start in the 2015-16 season where we conceded an innings lead against Assam in the opener. That really backfired. With that in mind, we wanted to start on a winning note. There was a threat of rain throughout, but we were lucky to get to play a full game. It was a great team effort.”
It took Karnataka all of 23 minutes on the fourth and final morning to break Gokul Sharma’s resistance. The Assam captain dragged Vinay Kumar onto the stumps on 66, having added four runs to his overnight score.
Abu Nechim Ahmed was caught behind and Wasiqur Rahman, who eventually walked out to bat, was out leg-before to Abhimanyu Mithun. Arup Das provided some entertainment, taking one on the ribs from Mithun before smacking him for six next ball. Words were exchanged but it was all going to be irrelevant.
Vinay swiftly brought the curtains down on the show, removing Rahul Singh to finish with four for 31. From 169 for six overnight, Assam had collapsed to 203 all out.
K. Gowtham was declared man-of-the-match, for his swashbuckling 149 and his seven for 59 (match figures) with the ball.
“He is an amazing cricketer; we need to take care of him really well,” Vinay said. “He can bat, bowl and field. My decision to send him in to bat at No. 5 worked really well. He is a fearless cricketer, a chilled-out guy. I might send him in to bat at the same slot in the next games. Hopefully he does well and plays for India very soon.”
Karnataka will next face Hyderabad in Shivamogga, from October 24-27.
Assam — 1st innings: 145
Karnataka — 1st innings: 469 for seven decl.
Assam — 2nd innings: Pallav Kumar Das c Gautam b Mithun 5, Rishav Das b Vinay 21, Pritam Debnath c Reddy b Mithun 2, Sibsankar Roy c Vinay b Gowtham 44, Gokul Sharma b Vinay 66, Tarjinder Singh c Reddy b Gowtham 6, Swarupam Purkayastha lbw b Gowtham 14, Abu Nechim Ahmed c Gautam b Vinay 17, Wasiqur Rahman lbw b Mithun 3, Arup Das (not out) 7, Rahul Singh c Gautam b Vinay 4; Extras (b-8, lb-1, nb-5): 14; Total (in 73.1 overs): 203.
Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-19, 3-50, 4-106, 5-122, 6-152, 7-179, 8-188, 9-190.
Karnataka bowling: A. Mithun 16-2-47-3, R. Vinay Kumar 14.1-6-31-4, K. Gowtham 16-4-39-3, S. Arvind 9-2-34-0, Stuart Binny 5-2-9-0, Shreyas Gopal 12-3-32-0, R. Samarth 1-0-2-0.
Points: Karnataka 7, Assam 0.