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A seven-star performance from spin wizard Krishnappa Gowtham helped Karnataka get to their second successive Ranji Trophy semifinal. The off-spinner claimed seven wickets in the second innings against Jammu & Kashmir at the Gandhi Memorial Science College Ground to give his team a comprehensive 167 run victory.

Having been set a daunting target of 330 in the fourth innings, the home team Jammu & Kashmir started off brightly and were 46/1 when Gowtham was introduced into the attack. The 31-year-old picked up a wicket almost immediately, dismissing opener and second highest run getter Shubham Khajuria in just his second over.

That dismissal triggered a swift collapse, orchestrated by Gowtham who picked up two of the next four wickets, reducing the hosts from 46/1 to 53/5. Alongside Gowtham, fellow Kings XI Punjab player Jagadeesha Suchith also chipped in on the action, dismissing opposition wicket-keeper Fazil Rashid just when Jammu & Kashmir were looking to build a partnership.

That wicket broke the back of the Jammu & Kashmir chase, and Gowtham did the rest as he cleaned up the tailenders in close to no time. The off-spinner picked up the last four wickets of the game to end with figures of 7/54.

With this match-winning performance, Gowtham has now become the leading wicket-taker for Karnataka this Ranji Trophy season with 57 scalps to his name. It has been a season to remember for the bowling all-rounder, who registered his best ever domestic figures of 8/60 in a Ranji game against Tamil Nadu a few months back.

Karnataka, a team captained by seasoned KXIP player Karun Nair, will now play the semi-finals against Bengal on February 29. Bengal chalked their path to the semi-finals after winning through a first innings lead against Odisha, thanks to another Kings XI Punjab player Ishan Porel, who picked 3/72 in the first innings.