Ranji Trophy: Karnataka retain title with comprehensive win over Tamil Nadu in final

  • Firoz Mirza, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 12, 2015 21:18 IST

Karnataka's win was imminent when they took the field on the final day of their Ranji Trophy final clash against Tamil Nadu at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Thursday.

The defending champions had batted their opponents out of the match two days ago, making it a one-sided contest.

The final day was all about how the holders finish their Ranji campaign, which incidentally began with a 285-run victory over the same opponents in December 2014.

A win on the basis of a first innings lead would not have been apt to sum up their journey to the title. Only an outright victory was the option and the Vinay Kumar-led side didn't disappoint as they thrashed Tamil Nadu by an innings and 217 runs to retain the title.

The title was Karnataka's 8th in Ranji history and made them the second most successful team after 40-time champions Mumbai.

Karnakata have now also become only the second team in the Ranji Trophy to defend the title on more than one occasion. They had retained the title in 1997-98 and 1998-99 in the past.

Only Mumbai had attained the feat more than once before Karnataka made it to the elite group.

A few more personal records were made as Karnataka emerged victorious. Vinay became the first Karnataka skipper to retain the crown. Earlier, Erapalli Prasanna led Karnataka to two titles. But the victories had not come in consecutive years as Karnataka won under Prasanna's captaincy in 1973-74 and then in 1977-78.

Earlier, Vijay Shankar (103) and Dinesh Karthik (120) scored a century each for Tamil Nadu to keep the Karnataka bowlers at bay. Baba Aparajith (68) also played a part in negotiating the pace quartet of skipper Vinay, S Aravind, HS Sharath and Abhimanyu Mithun in the morning session, giving his team hope of drawing the match and salvaging some pride.

However, twin strikes by leg-break bowler Shreyas Gopal post tea ended Tamil Nadu's resistance and they folded up soon to hand their opponents a much-deserved victory.

The victory will boost Karnataka's confidence, especially when they defend their title against Rest of India in the Irani Cup, which is scheduled in Bangalore between March 17 and 21.

However, the loss in the final, second in the last four seasons, will force Tamil Nadu's think-tank to sit together and find winning ways to end their title drought which now stretches to 28 seasons.

Tamil Nadu last won the Ranji Trophy in the 1987-88 season. They last made it to the Ranji final in 2011-12 when they lost to Rajasthan on a first innings lead.

Karnataka's past glory in Ranji Trophy

- Won by 158 runs against Rajasthan in 1973-74 at Sawani Mansingh Stadium (Captain-E Prasanna)

- Won by an innings and 193 runs against Uttar Pradesh in 1977-78 at Narendra Mohan Sports Complex (Captain - E Prasanna)

- Won on first innings lead against Bombay in 1982-83 at Wankhede Stadium (Captain - Brijesh Patel)

- Won on first innings lead against Tamil Nadu in 1995-96 at Chepauk (Captain - Anil Kumble)

- Won on first innings lead against Uttar Pradesh in 1997-98 at Chinnaswamy Stadium (Captain - Rahul Dravid)

- Won by 96 runs against Madhya Pradesh in 1998-99 at Chinnaswamy Stadium (Captain - Sunil Joshi)

- Won by 7 wickets against Maharashtra in 2013-14 at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium (Captain - Vinay Kumar)

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