MUMBAI: Defending champions Karnataka clinched their eighth Ranji Trophy title on Thursday as they thrashed their southern opponents Tamil Nadu by an innings and 217 runs on the last day of the Ranji Trophy tournament final at the Wankhede Stadium.
The R Vinay Kumar-led side always had the upper hand in the five-day encounter after bundling out Tamil Nadu for 134 in the first innings and then amassing 762 runs courtesy a triple century by middle-order batsman Karun Nair (338).
Chasing an imposing 628, Tamil Nadu were shot out for 411 in 107.5 overs in the final session of the fifth day’s play.
Starting the day on 113 for three, Tamil Nadu saw resilient centuries from Vijay Shankar (103) and Dinesh Karthik (120) but the writing was on the wall after their departure.
Leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal (4-126) wrecked the Tamil Nadu batting order with his four scalps. Skipper R Vinay Kumar, who became the joint leading wicket taker this season, ended with two wickets, along with Sreenath Aravind.
But the real hero for Karnataka was the 23-year-old Nair, who deservedly got the man-of the-match award for his maiden triple ton in first-class cricket.
The innings also saw centuries from Lokesh Rahul (188) and R Vinay Kumar (105 not out) as Karnataka did enough to bat just once.
For Tamil Nadu, wicketkeeper-batsman Karthik notched up his 23rd first class century and his 112-ball knock laced with 21 fours and a six, while Shankar made a fluent 103 (164b, 18×4).
Earlier, overnight batsman Baba Aparajith (68) and Vijay Shankar looked poised for a big score, as they batted sensibly. Tamil Nadu however lost Aparajith in the 21st over of the day thanks to a brilliant catch from wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa behind the stumps to get rid off him.
The 20-year old added 32 runs to his overnight score of 36 and his 227 minutes at the crease produced 11 fours. He forged a 112-run stand with Vijay Shankar for the fourth wicket.
His departure brought Karthik to the crease, who set an aggressive tone to the Tamil Nadu innings only witness a sorry end to a brave campaign.
Tamil Nadu 1st innings 134/10
Karnataka 1st innings
R Samarth c Vijay b Balaji 14
KL Rahul c Shankar b Rangarajan 188
SA Bhavane c Indrajith b Parameswaran 0
RV Uthappa† c Indrajith b Balaji 0
MK Pandey c Aparajith b Balaji 6
KK Nair lbw b Shankar 328
A Mithun lbw b Rangarajan 39
S Gopal c †Karthik b Aswin Crist 11
R Vinay Kumar* not out 105
S Aravind c sub (M Shahrukh Khan) b Aswin Crist 50
HS Sharath st Indrajith b Rangarajan 8
Tamil Nadu 2nd innings
A Mukund* b Gopal 13
M Vijay lbw b Vinay Kumar 27
B Aparajith c †Uthappa b Aravind 68
B Indrajith c Vinay Kumar b Gopal 18
V Shankar c & b Vinay Kumar 103
KD Karthik† c Aravind b Gopal 120
R Prasanna c Pandey b Sharath 8
M Rangarajan c Pandey b Aravind 33
A Aswin Crist st †Uthappa b Gopal 0
L Balaji not out 5
P Parameswaran absent hurt