It's official. Uttar Pradesh are out of the Ranji Trophy after their four-day Group B match against Karnataka ended in a tame draw on Saturday.
After enjoying a 97-run first-innings lead, Karnataka posted 537 for 4 in their second essay, and with no result possible, the two captains agreed to an early end soon after Ganesh Satish completed his season's maiden century in the third mandatory over.
Karnataka, with three points from the tie, now top the group with 24 points, followed by Baroda (20) and Haryana (17). Former champions and two-time finalists, UP finished a poor fourth with 15 points in the six-team league. The knockouts start from December 24.
There were many dull faces in the middle as Mohd Kaif and co. toiled all day even as Karnataka batsmen made merry on Saturday. Except for a few half-hearted appeals, UP fielders were only making failed bids to stop boundaries.
Their body language was enough to suggest that their domestic season was over.
Two wickets by part-time off-spinner Shivakant Shukla before lunch were the only bright spots for the former champions.
Though Mohammad Kaif tried to make inroads into the Karnataka lineup in the second and third sessions by setting an unorthodox field, nothing worked and the Karnataka batsmen kept hammering the toothless bowling attack all over the ground.
Earlier, there was no letup for the UP team after Karnataka resumed at the overnight score of 178 for 2 in their second innings.
First, Amit Verma (89, 136b, 15x4, 1x6) and Manish Pandey (50, 115b, 8x4) tore apart the UP bowling, stitching together a 134-run third-wicket partnership, Stuart Binny and Ganesh Satish then punished the UP bowlers ruthlessly.
Binny hit three mighty sixes on course to notching his second century of the season. His season's best - 127 off 157 balls - contained 14 fours and three sixes, while Ganesh struck 100 off 157 with the help of 12 boundaries during his knock.
Karnataka 416 & 537 (S. Binny not out 127, G.Satish 157; S Shukla 81-2). UP 319 Match draw.