Karnataka canters to a five-wicket win over Mumbai
Kerala made it to the final of the Buchi Babu all-India tournament for the second time in a row after beating Baroda by 57 runs in their semifinal clash on Friday.
The second day of the contest began with Baroda threatening to hunt down the target of 402. Openers Dhiren Mistry (34) and Aditya Waghmode (139, 166b, 17x4, 2x6) gave a forceful start, adding 78 off 81 balls.
Soon, Mistry holed out to long-off, trying to throw left-arm spinner K.R. Sreejith (three for 114) off gear. In his previous over, the same bowler had fluffed a difficult caught and bowled chance offered by Mistry.
Waghmode was in a different zone altogether. Armed with nimble and precise feet-movement, the left-hander countered off-spinner S. Anish (six for 97) and Sreejith admirably. The duo was given long spells to ensure economy as well as efficiency.
Every time the spinners flighted the ball, attempting to induce a false stroke from Waghmode, they ended up disappointed. While plenty of his drives kissed the grass, the aerial shots were played with control and authority.
Kerala, to its credit, didn’t shy away from attacking. Despite Waghmode’s brisk scoring, skipper Sachin Baby wasn’t bullied into pushing back mid-off and mid-on.
It was a gambit that fetched Kerala its second wicket, that of Kedar Devdhar.
He was caught well by Sreejith at mid-off. With Abhimanyu Chauhan (75, 9x4) for company, Waghmode amassed 136 for the third wicket and set up the match for Baroda.
After lunch, Waghmode continued to dictate play but then he perished to an ill-advised hoick to long-on. Yusuf Pathan began his innings with typical flourish, scoring a boundary off his first ball. But Yusuf’s misplaced belligerence resulted in a top-edged swipe that was comfortably held.
Captain Ambati Rayudu and many of his teammates, too, lost their wickets with some reckless shots. From 280 for three, Baroda was bundled out for 344 with 10.3 overs left in the day’s play.
Satish, Gautam sizzle
In the other semifinal, Karnataka cantered to a five-wicket win over Mumbai, thanks to the efforts of skipper Ganesh Satish (83, 7x4, 2x6) and C.M. Gautam (94 not out, 104b, 13x4). They put on a fine partnership of 155 for the fourth wicket.
The match was put to bed five minutes before tea once Karnataka went past Mumbai’s 303.
The scores (semifinals): Kerala 401 for nine in 90 overs bt Baroda 344 in 79.3 overs (Aditya Waghmode 139, Abhimanyu Chauhan 75, S. Anish six for 97).
Mumbai 303 in 90 overs lost to Karnataka 306 for five in 67.5 overs (Robin Uthappa 54, Ganesh Satish 83, C.M. Gautam 94 n.o.).
Keywords: Buchi Babu all-India tournament