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 here 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 quarterfinals 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 home team finished seventh with a win, couple of losses and five draws in eight games.
Vidarbha, Bengal, Assam qualified from Group A with 29, 28 and 26 points respectively.
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 wicket-keeper 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.
Maharashtra 212 and 260
Karnataka 180 and 239 all out in 72 overs (Robin Uthappa 61, CM Gautam 65 not out; Anupam Sanklecha 4/64, Nikit Dhumal 5/78).