New Delhi, Jan. 2 -- In a heartbreak for Delhi, Karnataka leapfrogged them to qualify for the quarterfinals of the Ranji Trophy. When the final day's play began, Delhi needed to take 10 Vidarbha wickets in Nagpur to qualify, failing which they needed Maharashtra to avoid an outright loss against Karnataka in Pune.
Delhi managed to take just seven. And as luck would have it, Karnataka produced a sensational win to qualify. The six points they got through the win catapulted them to 21 and third spot in Group B, a point ahead of both Delhi and Vidarbha. Vidarbha middle-order batsman Shalabh Srivastava remained unbeaten on 80 after batting for more than five hours.
Srivastava was involved in two important partnerships that sealed Delhi's fate. In Pune, Ankit Bawne's unbeaten 155 went in vain as Karnataka won by eight wickets.
After conceding a 473-run first innings lead, Maharashtra fought back in their follow on with Bawne leading the charge.
The match look like heading for a draw, a result which would have knocked Karnataka out. But when Maharashtra's essay ended at 561, Karnataka were set a target of 89 from 13 overs and they chased it with eight balls to spare.
Delhi 523/9 dec Vidarbha 257 & 216/7 (S Srivastava 80*)
Bahutule, Bangar retire
Former India players Sairaj Bahatule, 39, and Sanjay Bangar, 40, who were leading Vidarbha and Railways respectively quit first class cricket.
Bangar, who led Railways to a Ranji trophy title win in 2004-05 helped his team finish off with a win over Bengal.
Delhi colts too fail to enter knockouts
The Delhi U-19 team also failed to advance to knockouts despite getting points on first innings against Vidarbha. In DDCA league, Parmod Chandela's 96 helped Kishan Ganj Gymkhana beat Anand Sports by 116 runs.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.