Baroda enter Ranji final first time in nine years

Updated: Jan 05, 2011, 22:30 PM IST

Vadodara: Baroda scored an emphatic seven-wicket victory over Karnataka in the semifinal of Ranji trophy here on Wednesday to enter the final of the Super League tournament after a gap of nine years.

In a match that lasted less than five sessions, Baroda crushed Karnataka on day two itself with bowlers Bhargav Bhatt (5 for 30) and Swapnil Singh (5 for 20) claiming five wickets each.

The duo exploited the pitch to their advantage and maintained their length and line to wreak havoc as Karnataka lost their last seven wickets for just 22 runs and were
bundled out for 88 in just 32.2 overs.

A total of 33 wickets went down in less than two days at the Reliance Stadium with the second day registering 15 of them from both the sides.

Baroda, after resuming on 133 for eight, got all out for 153 today but managed to take a crucial 46-run first innings lead against Karnataka. The highest scorer for Baroda in the first innings -- Pinal Shah (83), who remained unbeaten at 72
yesterday, could however add just 11 runs more.

For Karnataka, Sunil Joshi (6 for 58) and Abhimanyu Mithun (2 for 26) contributed with the ball.

Thereafter the hosts, riding on exceptional spells by Bhatt and Swapnil, bundled out Karnataka for a meager score of 88 to set themselves a target of only 43 runs.

Apart from opener Robin Uthappa (35), who tried to put up some resistance, none of the other batsmen could show any application and Karnataka kept losing wickets at regular intervals.

And once Uthappa and Manish Pandey (11) got out in successive overs, the lower-order also collapsed as the visitors were dismissed for less than 100 runs.

Chasing a small total, the home team then hit the required runs in just 12.1 overs losing three wickets. With this victory, Baroda advanced to the finals of Ranji Trophy for the first time since 2002.

Baroda will now play the winner of the other semifinal between Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy final, scheduled to take place from January 11.
Brief scores:

Karnataka 1st innings: 107 all out in 44.2 overs

Baroda 1st innings: 153 all out in 50 overs (Pinal Shah 83; Sunil Joshi 6/58, Abhimanyu Mithun 2/26)

Karnataka 2nd innings: 88 all out in 32.2 overs (Robin Uthappa 35; Bhargav Bhatt 5/30, Swapnil Singh 5/20)

Baroda 2nd innings: 44 for three in 12.1 overs (Connor Williams 18, Jaykishan Kolsawala 16; Sunil Raju 2/23).