Hyderabad, Feb 2: Karnataka defeated Maharashtra by seven wickets to win the 2013-14 season's Ranji Trophy here on Sunday at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Chasing 157 to win in 64 overs on the fifth and final day of the final, Karnataka batsmen secured victory in 40.5 overs in the last session. Karun Nair finished the match with a six off Chirag Khurana. At 3.27 PM, Karnataka's moment of glory arrived after 14 years of wait.
At tea, they were 120/3 in 29.3 overs, needing 37 more.
This was Karnataka's seventh Ranji Trophy title and first since 1998-99 season. They had come very close to winning in Mysore in 2010 but went down to Mumbai by just 6 runs.
R Vinay Kumar became the sixth Karnataka captain to win the title. EAS Prasanna (twice), Brijesh Patel, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and Sunil Joshi are the others.
For coaches J Arun Kumar (batting) and Mansur Ali Khan (bowling), fondly known as Jak and Mak, it was a double delight. They had won the Ranji Trophy as players in 1998-99.
Jak had scored a ton in second innings of that final against Madhya Pradesh. Karnataka had won by 96 runs in Bangalore.
It was an advance birthday gift for Vinay, who will turn 30 on February 12.
A young Karnataka side with all players under the age of 30, were in great form this season stitching up six victories in a row. That top showing culminated in title triumph.
It was shameful that Karnataka's success, at a neutral ground, was achieved in front of an empty stadium, barring a few handful of fans.
What if the same final was at Bangalore's M Chinnaswamy Stadium? BCCI needs to have a relook at neutral venues hosting finals.
Karnataka were set a target of 157 to win by Maharashtra.
Maharashtra were bowled out for 366 on the fifth and final day's morning session with a lead of 156. A minimum of 64 overs are remaining in the day's play. Karnataka, at lunch, were 3/0 in 3 overs.
A draw is enough for Karnataka to take the Ranji Trophy after having taken a 210-run first innings lead.
Earlier, captain Vinay and Shreyas Gopal picked four wickets apiece to wrap up Maharashtra second innings.
Karnataka 157/3 in 40.5 overs (Robin Uthappa 36, KL Rahul 29, Amit Verma 38, Manish Pandey 28 not out, Karun Nair 20 not out) and 515 beat Maharashtra 366 all out in 91.2 overs (Kedar Jadhav 112, Ankit Bawne 61, Shrikant Mundhe 42, R Vinay Kumar 4/116, Shreyas Gopal 4/47) and 305
Karnataka's Victorious XI: R Vinay Kumar (captain), KL Rahul, Robin Uthappa, Ganesh Satish, Amit Verma, Manish Pandey, Karun Nair, Shreyas Gopal, CM Gautam (vice-captain, wicketkeeper), Abhimanyu Mithun, S Aravind.
Coaches: J Arun Kumar (batting). Mansur Ali Khan (bowling).
Karnataka's way to Ranji Trophy title
1st match: Vs Jharkhand in Mysore - Drawn (first innings lead gained)
2nd match: Vs Gujarat in Bangalore - Drawn (first innings lead gained)
3rd match: Vs Vidarbha in Nagpur - Drawn (first innings lead gained)
4th match: Vs Odisha in Cuttack - Won
5th match: Vs Haryana in Lahli - Won
6th match: Vs Punjab in Hubli - Won
7th match: Vs Mumbai in Bangalore - Won
8th match: Vs Delhi in Delhi - Won
9th match (Quarter-finals): Vs Uttar Pradesh in Bangalore - Won
10th match (Semi-finals): Vs Punajb in Mohali - Drawn (first innings lead gained)
11th match (Final): Vs Maharashtra in Hyderabad - Won
Karnataka's Ranji Trophy Titles (7, played in 13 finals)
(Read as season, opponent in final, captain, result)
1973-74 - Vs Rajasthan, EAS Prasanna (Won by 185 runs)
1977-78 - Vs Uttar Pradesh, Prasanna (Won by innings and 193 runs)
1982-83 - Vs Bombay, Brijesh Patel (Drawn, won on first innings lead)
1995-96 - Vs Tamil Nadu, Anil Kumble (Drawn, won on first innings lead)
1997-98 - Vs Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Dravid (Drawn, won on first innings lead)
1998-99 - Vs Madhya Pradesh, Sunil Joshi (Won by 96 runs)
2013-14 - Vs Maharashtra, R Vinay Kumar (Won by 7 wickets)