Pune: Defending champions Karnataka crashed out of the Ranji Trophy after losing to Maharashtra by 53 runs in their final league match of the season in Pune on Friday.
Karnataka, resuming the day at 61-1, ended their second innings at 239 all out after having set a 293-run target. The winners of the prestigious competition for the last two years were on the backfoot ever since their first innings folded up for 180, in reply to Maharashtra’s 212.
Maharashtra were anyway not in the race for the quarter-finals but they certainly played party poopers to Karnataka, who finished fifth in the points table with two wins, a loss and five draws from eight games.
The famed Karnataka batting failed to deliver in the crunch situation and there was not much positive apart from the contributions from Robin Uthappa (61) and wicketkeeper CM Gautam (65 not out), who ran out of partners in the end.
Maharashtra medium pacers Anupam Sanklecha and Nikit Dhumal did the maximum damage, snaring up four and five wickets respectively.