Karnataka outgun Tamil Nadu to clinch eighth Ranji title

Karnataka successfully defended their Ranji Trophy title in emphatic style as they trounced Tamil Nadu by an innings and 217 runs in the final at the Wankhede Stadium here on Thursday.

Defending champions Karnataka clinched their eighth Ranji Trophy title on Thursday as they thrashed their southern opponents Tamil Nadu by an innings and 217 runs on the last day of the Ranji Trophy final at Mumbai's Wankhede stadium.

The R Vinay Kumar-led side always had the upper hand in the five-day encounter after bundling out Tamil Nadu for 134 in the first innings and then amassing 762 runs courtesy a triple century by middle-order batsman Karun Nair (338).

Chasing an imposing 628, Tamil Nadu were shot out for 411 in 107.5 overs in the final session of the fifth day's play.

R Vinay Kumar with Ranji TrophyTeam Karnataka captain Vinay Kumar is presented the trophy by Anurag Thakur, BCCI Secretary, after beating Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy Final at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday. Pic/PTI 

Starting the day on 113 for three, Tamil Nadu saw resilient centuries from Vijay Shankar (103) and Dinesh Karthik (120) but the writing was on the wall after their departure.

Leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal (4-126) wrecked the Tamil Nadu batting order with his four scalps. Skipper R Vinay Kumar, who became the joint leading wicket-taker this season, ended with two wickets, along with Sreenath Aravind.

But the real hero for Karnataka was the 23-year-old Nair, who deservedly got the man-of the-match award for his maiden triple ton in first-class cricket.

The innings also saw centuries from Lokesh Rahul (188) and R Vinay Kumar (105 not out) as Karnataka did enough to bat just once.

For Tamil Nadu, wicketkeeper-batsman Karthik notched up his 23rd first class century and his 112-ball knock laced with 21 fours and a six, while Shankar made a fluent 103 (164b, 18x4).

Earlier, overnight batsman Baba Aparajith (68) and Vijay Shankar looked poised for a big score, as they batted sensibly. Tamil Nadu, however, lost Aparajith in the 21st over of the day thanks to a brilliant catch from wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa behind the stumps to get rid off him.

The 20-year old added 32 runs to his overnight score of 36 and his 227 minutes at the crease produced 11 fours. He forged a 112-run stand with Vijay Shankar for the fourth wicket.

His departure brought Karthik to the crease, who set an aggressive tone to the Tamil Nadu innings only witness a sorry end to a brave campaign.

"It is a big moment for us. I would like to thank all the players, they have worked hard to achieve this milestone. I am very happy with my own performance," skipper Vinay said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

"Ultimately, winning the Ranji Trophy is important. As I said last year, we have a good bunch of players. If we keep performing we will dominate the Indian domestic circuit. Next we will play the Irani Trophy and will try to win that."

Losing captain Abhinav Mukund said: "We really did well in the first day. We could have batted better, but its history now. Rahul and Karun Nair took the game away from us."

Mukund, however, was satisfied with the performance throughout the season.

"It has been a great season. After a poor start we have made to the finals. We will go back to the drawing board. We have competed well, I made around 800 runs. I could have carried on, but we ran into a good side."

Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 134 all out, 411 all out (Dinesh Karthik 120, Vijay Shankar 103; Shreyas Gopal 4/126; Vinay Kumar 2/43)) lose to Karnataka 762 all out. Karnataka win by an innings and 217 runs.

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