Ranji: Karnataka in final as 5th day is rained off

Mohali: With a persistent drizzle spoiling yet another day’s play, the umpires finally called off play on the fifth day of the second semi-final between Punjab and Karnataka on Wednesday, thereby ensuring that Karnataka will play Maharashtra in the final on the basis of the first-innings lead.

While the Karnataka players were more than happy with the outcome, the same can’t be said about the Punjab camp.

They had lost to Saurashtra in the semi-finals last season, and were keen to make amends. Coach Bhupinder Singh made his displeasure very clear as he said it wasn’t the ideal time to hold a match in Punjab and it could have been held in some South Indian city.

“The game should have gone for five days. The boys from both the teams should have enjoyed it, having covered this journey over three months. Winning and losing is a part of the game, but I wish the match would have gone on for five days."

"That way, with the national selectors around, the boys would have got an opportunity to showcase their talent. Normally we see that the weather opens up here around January, but it is advisable to take these semi-final games away from the north,” he said.

Karnataka coach J Arun Kumar agreed.

“There are so many other centres in the country where there is sunshine for five days during this time of the year, so the match could have been held anywhere else. In centres like Mumbai or Ahmedabad, there would have been no threat of rain,” he said.

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