Lost in the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Suffered a Mushfiqur Rahim-like choke in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy to lose by one run. Now, in the Ranji Trophy, losing by 26 runs with just three balls to spare. Tamil Nadu's saga of pain against Karnataka in 2019 continued as the two teams played out an epic contest at the NPR College Ground in Dindigul on Thursday. The match lived up to all the expectations and hype but it was Krishnappa Gowtham's brilliant 14-wicket haul which helped Karnataka get their Ranji Trophy season off to a great start. Karnataka had gained the early advantage when they chose to bat and superb knocks of 78 and 65 from Devdutt Padikkal and Pavan Deshpane helped Karnataka reach 336 all out.
In response, Dinesh Karthik slammed a brilliant 113 but Gowtham's 6/110 gave Karnataka a slender 29-run lead. Ravichandran Ashwin took 4/46 as Karnataka floundered but Padikkal, aided David Mathias and Gowtham's knocks in the lower order helped them set a target of 181 for Tamil Nadu. Abhinav Mukund and Murali Vijay started positively and reached an opening stand of 49 before Vijay was run-out by Samarth for 15. That laid the path for Gowtham to spin a web around Tamil Nadu.
He dismissed Baba Aparajith and Ravichandran Ashwin in quick succession. Mukund and Vijay Shankar seemed to have steadied the innings but when Gowtham removed those two, Karnataka held the edge. When Gowtham clean bowled Karthik for 17 and N Jagadeesan was trapped LBW by V Koushik, the end came near for Tamil Nadu. However, Murugan Ashwin and Manimaran Siddharth consumed time and also helped Tamil Nadu near the target. The 36-run partnership gave Tamil Nadu hope but Gowtham was unstoppable. He sent back Siddharth for 20 but Murugan Ashwin held firm.
Heading into the final over, Gowtham was bowling and Krishnamoorthy Vignesh was on strike. With only four balls remaining to ensure Tamil Nadu would escape with a draw, Gowtham trapped Vignesh in front and he finished with 8/60 as Karnataka won by 26 runs. For Tamil Nadu, this was the second time in the past couple of Ranji seasons that they lost in the final over of the match. During their clash against Bengal in Chepauk, Tamil Nadu fought well but Bengal won by one wicket.
Karnataka now have six points and they will be now take on Uttar Pradesh in Hubli in their next round. Tamil Nadu will take on Himachal Pradesh at Tirunelveli.