K Gowtham seven-wicket haul helped Karnataka seal the top spot in Group A. © Wisden India

K Gowtham’s seven-wicket haul helped Karnataka seal the top spot in Group A. © Wisden India

Karnataka topped Group A after beating Railways by 209 runs on the final day of the final round of Ranji Trophy 2017-18 league matches on Tuesday (November 28). Delhi finished second in the group, with Vikas Mishra’s five-wicket haul not enough to force a result against Hyderabad.

Railways v Karnataka in New Delhi
K Gowtham’s seven-wicket haul helped Karnataka secure a 209-run victory against Railways and seal the top spot in the group.

In response to Karnataka’s first-innings 434, Railways made 333 on the back of Mahesh Rawat’s century. Karnataka declared their second innings on 275 for 4 after Mayank Agarwal’s second ton of the match.

Chasing an improbable 377, Railways suffered due to lack of substantial partnerships and were bundled out for 167 in 63 overs.

The Railways batsmen failed to convert starts and hold their ends, Pratham Singh top-scoring with a 36. Gowtham, the tall offspinner who took three wickets in the first innings, returned 7 for 72 to finish with a match-haul of ten wickets.

Resuming the day on 208 for 1, with an overall advantage of 309, Karnataka lost D Nischal early as he added just four runs to his overnight 41. Agarwal, overnight 104 on his way to completing 1000 Ranji runs this season, made 134 before falling to Vinit Dhulap.

With six points from their fourth outright win, Karnataka ended as table-toppers with 32 points.

Points: Railways 0; Karnataka 6

Hyderabad v Delhi in Hyderabad
A five-wicket haul from Vikas Mishra wasn’t enough as Delhi were left frustrated by the Hyderabad resistance at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal.

Kulwant Khejruliya and Mishra picked up four wickets apiece in the first innings to bundle out Hyderabad for 205 in response to Delhi’s 415. Hyderabad then put on a brave fight through P Akshath Reddy’s century after being forced to follow on.

Mishra ended with a match-haul of nine wickets before the teams shook hands with Hyderabad on 442 for 8 in their second innings.

Resuming the final morning on 233 for 2, Hyderabad found their heroes in Rohit Rayudu and B Sandeep. Rayudu, unbeaten on 61 overnight, brought up his maiden first-class ton, while Sandeep missed a century by just seven runs.

The duo safely negotiated the morning session, taking Hyderabad to lunch at 343 for 2. Delhi finally had breakthrough when Mishra struck twice soon after the break. While Rayudu was dismissed for a 239-ball 103, K Sumant fell for nought.

Mishra and Dhruv Shorey, the part-time offspinner, kept chipping away thereafter as Hyderabad went into tea at 429 for 8. With no result in sight, the game was called off shortly after the break.

With three points from the drawn game on account of the first-innings lead, Delhi, who have already qualified for the quarterfinal, ended with 27 points to be placed second in the group.

Points: Hyderabad 1, Delhi 3

Maharashtra v Assam in Pune
Maharashtra rode on Naushad Shaikh’s unbeaten century to secure a seven-wicket win over Assam at the Pune Cricket Club ground on Monday.