Ranji Trophy 2022-23: Saurashtra overcome Karnataka to reach final
Saurashtra beat Karnataka by four wickets to reach the Ranji Trophy 2022-23 final on Sunday. Resuming from 123/4, Karnataka were bundled out on 234, setting a 115-run target. Saurashtra were down to 42/5, but Arpit Vasavada played a captain's knock to get them through (117/6). Up next, Saurashtra will face two-time Ranji winners Bengal in the final summit clash, commencing on February 16.
How did the match pan out?
Put to bat, Karnataka slammed 407 in the first innings. Skipper Mayank Agarwal shone with a double-ton while Srinivas Sharath chimed in a gritty 66. Saurashtra replied with a mammoth 527 and took a 120-run lead. Vasavada's double-century helped their cause. Chetan Sakariya and Dharmendra Singh Jadeja bagged four-fers each as Karnataka were restricted to 234. Saurashtra fumbled at the start but eventually prevailed.
Fifth final appearance for Saurashtra
Saurashtra have been competing in the Ranji Trophy since the 1950-51 edition. They wound up as runners-up in 2012-13, 2015-16, and 2018-19. They won their maiden Ranji Trophy title in the 2019-20 edition, beating Bengal on the first-innings lead in Rajkot.
Vasavada piles pressure on Karnataka
A captain's knock was the need of the hour and Vasavada delivered the needful. The southpaw blasted a clutch 406-ball 202, hitting 21 fours and a six. Vasavada slammed his second First-Class double-ton. It was his third 100-plus score in the Ranji Trophy 2022-23. Later, he clobbered 47* to pocket the chase. He has raced to 826 runs at an average of 75.09.
Jackson hammers his 20th FC ton
Sheldon Jackson played an invaluable part as Saurashtra racked up a 500-plus total. The middle-order batter scored 160 off 245 deliveries (4s: 23, 6s: 2). He clobbered his maiden ton in Ranji Trophy 2022-23 and his 20th First-Class ton overall. Jackson, however, was dismissed cheaply (7) in the second innings. He has tallied 529 runs in the season at 37.78 (50s: 3).
Jackson and Vasavada keep Karnataka at bay
Jackson and Vasavada scored in tandem as Saurashtra posted a behemoth first-innings total. The duo elevated Saurashtra from 92/3 to 324/4 on Day 3. They added 232 runs for the fourth wicket, the highest partnership for any wicket in the concluded game.
Jani slams 4th fifty of the season
Middle-order batter Chirag Jani came up with scores of 72 and 1. Notably, he stitched a 142-run stand with Vasavada in the first innings. Jani's 72 was his fourth half-century of the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2022-23. He now owns 509 runs at 36.35.
Kaverappa shines for Karnataka
Kaverappa (5/83) completed his second FC fifer in the first innings. The right-arm pacer remained ineffective throughout Day 3. He ran down Saurashtra's middle and lower-order on Day 4 to attain the milestone. Notably, he uprooted double-centurion Vasavada, thereby restricting Saurashtra from laying any more damage. Kaverappa now has 30 wickets in eight matches in Ranji Trophy 2022-23.
Agarwal proves to be a handful
Karnataka were reduced to 79/4, but Agarwal held one end to hammer 249 off 429 deliveries (28 fours, 6 sixes). He notched his second double-century of the season. He followed it up with a fine 55. He is the leading run-getter in Ranji Trophy 2022-23, with 990 runs at 82.50 (100s: 3, 50s: 6). Notably, he is the only batter with 900-plus runs.
A look at other key performers
Karnataka's Nikin Jose hammered 18 and 109. The number four batter laid the fightback in the second innings as the eight-time Ranji winners crawled to 234. He struck his maiden FC ton. Saurashtra's Sakariya claimed figures worth 3/73 and 4/45. The left-arm quick has steered to 21 wickets in the ongoing competition. Jadeja claimed 0/52 and 4/79, racing to 41 scalps in the tournament.
Saurashtra to face Bengal in Ranji Trophy final
As stated, Saurashtra will lock horns with Bengal in what promises to be an epic finale. Bengal overpowered Madhya Pradesh to book a spot in the final. Notably, Bengal will mark their 15th Ranji Trophy final appearance.