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Last Updated Wednesday April 25 2018 01:50 PM IST

Gurbani fires Vidarbha into maiden Ranji final

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Rajneesh Gurbani Rajneesh Gurbani fired Vidarbha into their maiden Ranji final. PTI

Kolkata: Pacer Rajneesh Gurbani's seven-wicket haul fired Vidarbha into their maiden Ranji Trophy final as they pipped Karnataka by five runs in a cliffhanger of a semifinal at the Eden Gardens here on Thursday.

Karnataka, who resumed on 111/7, were bowled out for 192 in the first session of the fifth and final day chasing 198 for victory.

After overnight batters, skipper R. Vinay Kumar (36) and Shreyas Gopal (24 not out) joined hands for a gritty 37-run partnership for the eighth wicket, Abhimanyu Mithun (33) associated with Gopal to put on 48 runs for the ninth wicket and take Karnataka closer to the target.

But Gurbani, who picked up all three wickets to fall on the final day, broke the stand by accounting for Mithun.

The pacer returned to finish off the tie by dismissing last man Sreenath Aravind (2) in his next over to trigger wild celebrations in the Vidarbha camp.

Gurbani, who returned figures of 7/68 and a match haul of 12/162, was declared man of the match.

The 24-year-old, in superb form taking five-wicket hauls in the last three outings, had figures of 5/94 in the first innings.

Vidarbha will take on Delhi in the final to be played in Indore from December 29.

In the first innings, Vidarbha chose to bat and were skittled out for 185. Karnataka, in reply, rode on Karun Nair's brilliant 153 to amass 301.

On the fifth day, Karnataka depended on Vinay Kumar and Gopal to guide the team home.

Vinay Kumar took on the aggressor's role and hit three boundaries before being too ambitious and attempting a cut off Gurbani in the final delivery of the 50th over only to get an edge which carried comfortably to wicketkeeper Akshay Wadkar with Karnataka still 57 runs shy of the target.

Mithun then continued from where Vinay Kumar had left, smashing the ball around while Gopal held one end up. Mithun hit the disappointing Umesh Yadav (1/61) for two consecutive fours in one over raising hopes of their win and deflating the opposition's confidence.

Mithun hit five fours before getting out by trying one shot too many and falling to Gurbani with Aditya Sarvate holding the catch at deep point.

Aravind became Gurbani's third victim of the morning and seventh of the innings as Karnataka fell short.

Gurbani's two wickets in the space of 10 balls snatched victory for Vidarbha.

Brief scores: Vidarbha 185 and 313 bt Karnataka 301 and 192 all out in 59.1 overs (R. Vinay Kumar 36, Abhimanyu Mithun 33, Karun Nair 30; Rajneesh Gurbani 7/68).

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