A shocking news came in the afternoon Karnataka suffered a 53 runs defeat at the hand of Maharashtra  who showed the defending champion the door to exit at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune.

Karnataka under the leadership of Vinay Kumar lost their first Ranji match after 37 matches winning streak. Karnataka’s exit ensure the 2015-16 season will see a new winner. Karnataka’s invincible first-class record started in November 2012.

This is shocking that Karnataka exited from the group stage. This Karnataka team drew their 5 matches out of seven.

At a time when Karnataka eliminated from the prestigious domestic tournament, Assam has defied Bengal from an innings victory and qualified for the quarterfinal.

On the fourth day (December 4), the defending champion Karnataka needed to chase Maharashtra’s target 234 to register their third win but they collapsed for 180.

Robin Uthappa is one of the top run scorers in the tournament. He scored 675 with three hundred. But, cameo innings from captain Vinay Kumar, who around role played a crucial role in Karnataka’s domination in the last two years, this season apparently was invisible. Nothing ha fell in track for Karnataka, they lost only one match, but the hunger of last two seasons was missing. Last season Vinay has taken 55 wickets while Abhimanyu Mithun was the third highest wicket taker with 47 wickets. But, this year none of the Karnataka wicket takers found their name in the list top 10 bowlers after the end of the group stage matches.

In the last two seasons opener, KL Rahul was an integral part of Karnataka’s success, but the young batsman got India call for his magnificent Ranji performances. Rahul scored 1174 runs, which was the tournament best. Along with Rahul, Robin Uthappa and Karun Nair were also in the top three. But, this time except Robin Uthappa none of the Karnataka batsmen were in their mojo.

They might feel complacent for their success in the last two seasons, but the rise of eastern region teams, especially Assam and rejuvenated Bengal also affected Karnataka. The highlight of Assam’s rise is their performance against Delhi.  

Karnataka in the opening game of the 2015-16 Ranji season at Guwahati caved in the front left arm spin of Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad, who has taken 7 wickets. The champions were forced to draw the match with Assam, who this year sneaked into the quarterfinal. This year the east regions team Assam and Bengal finished second and third in group A while Jharkhand finished third in group C to qualify in the quarterfinal.

It is a good symbol that this Ranji season will get a new champion, but Karnataka’s shabby performance proved that how players are complacent with their success. Unlike Karnataka, last years’ runners-up Tamil Nadu are also in shamble as they lost one match, drew two and two matches did not yield any result. Rain is the main culprit behind their failure to qualify in the quarterfinal than their performances.

Here are the Ranji Trophy 2015-2016 quarterfinalists  

Group A

Vidarbha, Bengal, Assam

Group B

Mumbai, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh

Group C

Saurashtra, Jharkhand

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    Sports Crazy man, Live in cricket, Love writing, Studied English journalism in Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Chose sports as the subject for study, Born 24 years ago during the 1992 Cricket world cup. When he is not writing love to watch movies and reading books and novels.

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