Leg spinner Shreyas Gopal claimed the first hat-trick of his career to guide Ranji champions Karnataka to a convincing innings and 222 runs win over Rest of India (ROI) to lift the Irani Trophy crown on the fourth and penultimate day.
Gopal (5/35) also registered his best bowling figures, while skipper R Vinay Kumar scalped four for 70 to bowl out ROI for 183 runs in their second innings in 57.5 overs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Gopal picked up three wickets in three balls in the 58th over to bring down curtains to ROI’s dismal batting performance in the second innings.
Gopal first dismissed set batsman Baba Aparajith, caught by Stuart Binny at long-off, with the third delivery of the 58th and then disturbed the timbers of Ashoke Dinda and Pankaj Singh with two perfect googlies to wrap up ROI’s innings and seal the match for the hosts with an entire day to spare.
Karnataka skipper Vinay Kumar’s four wickets in the second innings also helped him to end with an impressive match figures of 11 for 82.
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Resuming their second innings at 114 for three, ROI’s middle and lower middle order fell like pack of cards, riding on Gopal and Vinay Kumar’s effective bowling as their last seven wickets could add just 69 runs.
Aparajith, who resumed on overnight score of 42, was the lone bright spot for ROI as he laboured his way to 66 off 162 balls even as other batsmen failed to put up a fight in the face of some disciplined bowling by Karnataka bowlers.
ROI struggled throughout their second innings as only three batsmen — Aparajith, Kedar Jadhav (44) and wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik (27), who fetched an unexpected Rs 12.5 crore from Delhi Daredevils in the IPL player’s auction today, managed double digit scores.
The platform for Karnataka’s innings victory, however, was set up by their batsmen.
Stuart Binny (122), C M Gautam (122), Karun Nair (92) and Ganesh Satish (84) played impressive knocks to help Karnataka amass a mammoth 606 in their first innings in reply to ROI’s 201.