Dindigul (Tamil Nadu): Off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham claimed eight wickets to bowl Karnataka to a 26-run victory over Tamil Nadu in their opening round match of the Ranji Trophy in Dindigul on Thursday (December 12).

It was a last-over thriller on the fourth and final day of the contest. Gowtham dismissed the last man K Vignesh LBW to trigger celebrations for the visitors.

Overall, Gowtham took 14 wickets in the match (6/110 and 8/60). He had also scored a half century (51) in the first innings.

With this success, Karnataka completed a hat-trick of wins over their neighbours in recent times. First, Karnataka won the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day final and then in the title clash of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20, they triumphed by one run.

Tamil Nadu, chasing 181 for an outright victory, started off well with 49/0 at lunch. However, off-spinner Gowtham derailed Tamil Nadu's innings with super bowling.

The hosts were reduced to 98/7 and the lower order batsmen were left battling to save the game. The contest was nerve-wracking as Karnataka needed two wickets in the final few minutes of the match and Tamil Nadu batsmen were fighting for a draw.

It was Gowtham who struck in two consecutive overs to give Karnataka full six points. Gowtham had recently got married and soon was back to play for his state side. On December 6, he tied the knot with Archana Sundar in Bengaluru and on December 9, he was back on field for Karnataka.

Brief scores

Karnataka: 336 and 151 beat Tamil Nadu: 307 and 154 all out in 63.3 overs (Abhinav Mukund 42, K Gowtham 8/60)

Karnataka: 6 points; Tamil Nadu: 0