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Motwani backs team for better results in future

Maharashtra captain rues dropped catches and first innings batting performance

The Rohit Motwani-led Maharashtra finished runners-up of the Ranji Trophy 2013-14 season. They had made it to the final on the back of wins against Mumbai and Bengal. However, they were out-played by Karnataka in the battle for the title in Hyderabad.

Speaking about their run-up to the final game of the tournament, the Maharashtra captain said, “It was good because we qualified from Group C. At the start of the season, we had aimed for a quarter-final berth. When we played in the quarterfinal (and beat Mumbai), it was then we started hoping that this team can win the Ranji Trophy. There were positive vibes. It was an amazing journey right from the first game itself.”

Reflecting on the loss in the final, Motwani said, “There is no pointing of fingers because it was a team effort.”

“I think we lost the way on Day 1 because the track was a 500-600 run one (Maharashtra scored 305 in the first innings). And on the second day, we dropped too many catches, the number was very high. Had the catches been held, the scenario would have been different. Unfortunately as a team, we did not click in this match.

“You don’t drop catches, they win matches. Such opportunities do not come at regular intervals. Whenever it comes, make it happen.

“We had nothing to lose. There was no kind of pressure. We just had to throw the dice and see.

“You expect some kind of turn on a Day 5 wicket. There was a rough but we expected some turn. But that did not happen. It was quite easy. There was variable bounce,” he remarked while discussing the way the match progressed.

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Report: Final - Maha vs Kar, RT 2013-14, Day 5

Karnataka beat Maharashtra to clinch Ranji Trophy 2013-14

Karnataka lifted their seventh Ranji Trophy title, beating Maharashtra by seven wickets in the final at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday. With the win, Karnataka, who last won the trophy in 1998-99, are now joint second with Delhi while Mumbai top the list with 40 wins so far.

Resuming the fifth and final day at 272 for six, Maharashtra lost their last four wickets for 94 runs and were bowled out of 366 in the second innings. Leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal shared eight wickets with his captain and pacer Vinay Kumar. Maharashtra made 305 in the first innings.

Chasing a target of 157, Karnataka, who made 515 in the first innings, got a good start with Robin Uthappa (36) and Lokesh Rahul (29) adding 65 runs for the first wicket.

Uthappa led the attack by taking on the bowlers early in the innings. During his innings of 36, which had six fours, he played a square drive, smashed the ball between cover and extra cover and also hit an elegant straight drive.

Rahul (29, 3x4, 2x6), Karnataka’s leading run-scorer for the season and who was also adjudged player of the final, was slow off the blocks but broke free in 15th over when he hit two consecutive sixes and a four off Chirag Khurana.

Uthappa’s wicket in the next over off Akshay Khurana and then the dropped catch of batsman Amit Verma (38) gave some anxious moments to Karnataka but Pandey and Karun Nair ensured the team crossed the mark without further hiccups.

Earlier, resuming on 272 for six, Maharashtra added 94 runs to their overnight total before being bowled out on the fifth morning.

Man of the Match: Karnataka's Lokesh Rahul for his 131 in the first innings to set up the match.