Mysore, Dec 12 (UNI) Dashing former champions Karnataka of qualifying to the knockout stage, Saurashtra in a cliffhanger defeated the hosts by three runs in a Elite Group A Ranji Trophy match here today.
Requiring 265 runs for an outright victory Karnataka were all out for 261 giving Saurashtra full five points in the last over of the day.
Fine bowling by medium pacers Sandeep Maniar (4/54) and Sandeep Jobanputra (3/74) dashed the hopes of a victory to the homeside which at one stage was tottering at 71 for four before a splendid recovery act by C Raghu (77) and Sunil Joshi (42).
Saurasthra taking their tally to 15 points from five matches while host Karnataka only nine points from the same number matches.
Karnataka playing their next match against group leader Delhi (17 points) in Bangalore from December 17 while Saurashtra are playing their match against Maharashtra in pune on the same day.
The visitors began their overnight score of 183 for 8 wickets carried an useful 9th wicket partnership of 74 runs in 149 balls between Firoz Bambaniya (46) and Sandeep Jobanputra (54) which took the team into a position of comfort and safety score of 245 runs and with an over all lead of 264 runs. They played this morning together for nearly 100 minutes.
N C Aiyappa 4 for 87, R Vinay Kumar 2 for 64 Sunil Joshi 2 for 45 and K P Appanna 2 for 36 were the wicket takers for the Karnataka.
Raghu and Joshi brought semblance to the karnataka batting after the team lost four quick wickets with only 71 runs on board. They added 81 runs for the fifth wicket. Raghu later added 31 for the sixth wicket with R Vinaykumar (24) enabling the former champions look ahead for a victory. However, another two quick wickets of Thilak Naidu and N C Aiyappa in the dying minutes.
In the last over Karnataka needed six runs for a victory with only one wicket remaining, but K R Appanna mistimed shot taken by bowler Sandeep Joban Putra to clinch the match for saurashtra by three runs.
Brief Score: Saurashtra First Innings 246 Second Innings 245 runs (Kaniya Vaghela 34, Cheteswar Pujar 22, Firoz Bambaniya 46 Sitamshu Kotak 26 Sandeep Joban Putra 54, N C Aiyappa 4 for 87 R Vinya Kumar 2 for 64, Sunil Joshi 2 for 46 K P Appanna 2 for 36).
Karnataka 226 (First Innings) Second Innings 261 (Bharath Chipli 28 Sudhindra Shine 21, Sunil Joshi 42 C Raghu 77 Yare Goud 24 not out, Sandeep maniar 4 for 54, Sandeep Jobhan Putra 3 for 74 Kaniya Vaghela 2 for 23).