Kolkata, Mar 3: Bengal beat Karnataka by 174 runs to enter into the Ranji Trophy final for first time in 13 years, thanks to career-best bowling 6/61 by young pacer Mukesh Kumar at picturesque Eden Gardens today.
Chasing 352 runs to win Karnataka were folded early at 177 runs by the young three pacers, who shared 10 wickets among them. While 25-year old Mukesh Kumar took the line share of six hauls, his young 21-year-old partner Isan Porel finished at 2/58 and Akash Deep ( 24) had remaining two wickets conceding 44 runs.
High-profile Karnataka, winners of eight times, fell like nine pins as big names like KL Rahul, Manish Pandey felt the heat of the young pacers and returned early inside two hours on 4th day of the five-day play at the iconic Eden Gardens.
Bengal, who last played final in 2006-07 and were beaten to Mumbai, would now face the winners of the second semifinal match now on progressed at Rajkot between Gujarat and Sourastra.
This was a disappointing end to Karnataka's campaign for the second time in as many years, Bengal - eyeing their third Ranji championship - will face the winner of Gujarat versus Saurashtra and the finale will be an away encounter for Abhimanyu Easwaran's men. Brief score Bengal 312 and 161 Karnataka 122 and 177. (UNI)