For the second time in 12 days, K Gowtham steered Karnataka to a thrilling final-over win against Tamil Nadu after bagging a career-best match-haul in their Ranji Trophy match at Dindigul on Thursday.
It was Krishnappa Gowtham who bowled the final over in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy final against the same opponents earlier this month and on Thursday, he forced the same result with three balls to spare.
#RanjiTrophy @gowthamyadav88 traps @vigneshkrish09 8 wickets for Gowtham. Here's the moment! #TNvsKar Another heart-break for @TNCACricket - three on the bounce. #RanjiCricket pic.twitter.com/nnGAZ4KYdO— Bagawati Prasad (@Baggs0404) December 12, 2019
With a match-haul of 14/170 and a rescue-act fifty in the first innings, it wrapped up a stellar all-round performance from the 31-year-old off-spinner in the Elite Group B fixture.
"This is one of the best spells I have bowled," K Gowtham said. "It is not easy to bowl against Tamil Nadu, who have very good players of spin bowling. So you feel good about yourself when you take so many wickets against them."
Electing to bat first, K Gowtham came out to the centre of the field at 265/7 in the 96th over and added another 71 runs for the final three wickets in just 90 balls.
It was K Gowtham, signed by Kings XI Punjab for the VIVO Indian Premier League, who took the charge during the phase as he scored 51 runs in just 39 balls at a strike rate of 130.76, hitting 4 fours and 4 sixes on the way.
Karnataka were eventually bowled out for 336, and Tamil Nadu responded with 307 in their first innings with K Gowtham emerging the hero for the visitors yet again.
K Gowtham was the one who got Karnataka the breakthrough when he sent back openers Murali Vijay and Abhinav Mukund in successive overs. He then accounted for captain Vijay Shankar as Tamil Nadu crumbled from 81/0 to 106/3.
He added two more wickets to his tally before sending back centurion Dinesh Karthik to wrap up the innings and ending with figures of 6/110 in 40.3 overs.
Tamil Nadu came back stronger in the second innings as they shot out Karnataka for just 151, with Ravichandran Ashwin picking up four wickets, and leaving the home team a target of 181 to chase.
Once Murali Vijay was run out to hand Karnataka the breakthrough with the score on 49 in the second innings, it was the K Gowtham show all the way.
He picked up eight of the remaining nine wickets that fell and ensured that Karnataka sealed the victory in the final over of the day, ending with career-best figures of 8/60 in 30.3 overs.