New Delhi, Jan 2 (IANS) Defending champion Mumbai and Jammu and Kashmir qualified for the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals from their respective groups Thursday.
Karnataka and Punjab have already qualified from Group A and will now be joined by 40-time champions Mumbai. Railways, Bengal and Uttar Pradesh also have qualified from Group B earlier.
Maharashtra entered the knockout stages from Group C and were likely to be joined by either Goa or Jammu and Kashmir, but J&K just managed to scrape through by the thinnest of margins — their quotient was 0.001 better than Goa’s — after drawing their game with Tripura in Agartala.
Prior to this, the farthest Jammu and Kashmir had progressed in the tournament was the pre-quarter-final against Odisha in 2000-01.
In the last-eight clashes to be held Jan 8-12, Mumbai will take on Maharashtra at home (Wankhede Stadium), Bengal will face Railways also at home (Eden Gardens), and Karnataka too will clash against Uttar Pradesh at home (Chinnaswamy Stadium).
Only the Punjab vs J&K match will not be held at anyone’s home ground and will be played at Moti Baug, Vadodara, Gujarat.
At the Ferozshah Kotla here, Karnataka dispatched Delhi by eight wickets to comfortably top Group A with 38 points. Delhi, starting Day 4 at 132/6, were bowled out for 201 in their second innings, giving their bowlers a meagre 115 to defend.
Karnataka ensured there were no hiccups in the chase and got past the paltry target in 28.1 overs. Opener Mayank Agarwal remained unbeaten on 68 alongside Manish Pandey (11 not out).
With the loss, Delhi failed to make the knock-out stage for another season and ended with 19 points from eight matches, not having much success in the premier domestic tournament after winning the title in the 2007-08 season.
The Kotla pitch is known for its low and slow nature but unpredictable bounce on the final day made batting even more trickier.
Varun Sood (0) and Sumit Narwal (21) fell victim to the bounce, leaving Delhi tottering at 176/8. Milind Kumar (31 not out) provided some resistance and took the team past 200. Karnataka pacers H.S. Sharath and Ronit More shared three wickets each with leggie Shreyas Gopal.
It seemed like Karnataka were batting on a different strip when they came out for the chase. Agarwal made strokeplay look easy, hitting six fours and three maximums. Pandey ended the game with a four and six.
The match also brought an end to a disastrous season for Virender Sehwag, who has scored 234 runs at an average of 19.50.
Group A: Karnataka 289 and 116/2 beat Delhi 202 and 201 by eight wickets in Delhi.
Mumbai 154 and 273 beat Gujarat 253 and 147 by 27 runs in Valsad.
Punjab 516 beat Jharkhand 216 and 127 (f/o) by an innings and 173 runs in Dhanbad.
Odisha 242 and 228/6 drew with Haryana 626/4 dec. in Bhubaneshwar.
Group B: Rajasthan 333 and 74/4 beat Baroda 236 and 167 by six wickets in Jaipur.
Bengal 130 and 139 beat Tamil Nadu 85 and 180 by four runs in Chennai.
Saurashtra 177 and 33/1 beat Services 72 and 135 by nine wickets in Rajkot.
Goa 267 and 43/2 beat Andhra 148 and 160 by eight wickets in Porvorim.
Uttar Pradesh 231/3 drew with Railways 518/9 dec. in Lucknow.
Group C: Maharashtra 361 and 134 beat Assam 152 and 215 by 128 runs in Guwahati.Jammu and Kashmir 325 and 87/2 drew with Tripura 280 and 272 in Agartala.
Kerala 264 and 146/2 drew with Hyderabad 201 and 429 in Hyderabad.