Tamil Nadu moved into the semifinals of the Ranji Trophy on Sunday after a comfortable seven-wicket win over Karnataka in their quarterfinal clash on Saturday.
Resuming their innings at 111/4 on Day 2 of the match, Tamil Nadu failed to build a big total and collapsed for 152 runs, but bowled out Karnataka for 150 before chasing down the target of 87 runs.
KL Rahul put up some resistance for Karnataka with a composed 77-run knock, but his Indian Test teammate Karun Nair failed again on a difficult track in Visakhapatnam and was dismissed for just 12 runs.
A target of 87 was achieved in 19.3 overs with Dinesh Karthik, playing his 100th Ranji Trophy game, smashing 41 off 30 balls with five fours and two sixes.
Knowing well that survival on this seaming track is a difficult proposition with Tamil Nadu in trouble at 35 for 3, Karthik let Baba Indrajith hold one end up as he decided to take on the attack to the opposition camp and added the required 52 runs in 10 overs. He was severe on leggie Shreyash Gopal, clobbering him for 24 in 2.3 overs.
Add his contribution of 31 in the first innings, and Karthik is by far Tamil Nadu's most significant contributor in this victory.
It was a match in which the Tamil Nadu side, which has now learnt to live without Ravichandran Ashwin and Murali Vijay, outbowled a team comprising KL Rahul and Karun Nair, who have been run-machines in domestic cricket.
On a green-top that once again exposed poor technique and application of domestic batsmen, 33 wickets fell with only 148.2 overs of play yielding a result.
One can attribute the abject surrender to green-top or poor application, but it was once again evident that India's regular domestic batsmen find it difficult to play on bowling friendly tracks.
That Rahul was a cut above rest was evident in the manner he handled Tamil Nadu's first innings hero Crist along with Vignesh and Natarajan.
When Rahul finally edged one to Karthik off Natarajan's bowling, he was the eighth Karnataka batsman to get out for a score of 130.
For Karnataka, the biggest disappointment was India internationals Manish Pandey, Stuart Binny and CM Gautham, who failed to score a single run.
Chennai Test triple centurion Karun came to bat as down as No 8, hit a couple of boundaries in his 12 before edging Vignesh to Karthik.
Brief Scores: Karnataka 88 and 150 (K Vignesh 4/53, T Natarajan 3/40).
Tamil Nadu 152 (Dinesh Karthik 31, S Aravind 3/16) and (target 87) 87/3 in 19.3 overs (Dinesh Karthik 41 not out).
(With inputs from PTI)