Karnataka will be bolstered by the addition of KL Rahul for their Ranji Trophy 2019-20 semi-final against Bengal at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, after he was included in the 15-man squad for the match starting on February 29.
Rahul had asked to be rested from Karnataka’s quarter-final match but is now available for the climactic stages of the Ranji Trophy. Karnataka had already been strengthened by the addition of Manish Pandey for the quarter-finals, with both Pandey and Rahul having returned from New Zealand after India completed the limited-overs leg of their tour.
Last year’s finalists Saurashtra will take on Gujarat in the other semi-final, at Rajkot. The other prominent players who will be part of the last four include Parthiv Patel (Gujarat), Jaydev Unadkat (Saurashtra) and Manoj Tiwary (Bengal).
Gujarat, Bengal, Karnataka and Saurashtra had finished on top of the combined Groups A and B table, and all four progressed to the semi-finals after dominating their respective quarter-final matches.
Gujarat beat Goa by 464 runs with a day to spare, and Karnataka induced a late collapse to beat Jammu and Kashmir by 167 runs to register outright victories. Saurashtra took a first-innings lead of 283 runs against Andhra, and then set them an out-of-reach target of 710 runs in a little over two sessions. Andhra finished on 149 for 4 in a drawn game.
Bengal also progressed on first-innings lead against Odisha, bowling them out for 250 after they had made 332. Odisha were then set an unrealistic 456 to win but a combination of time running out and bad light meant they batted only 10 overs in their second innings.