Defending champion Karnataka was cruising towards an emphatic triumph until a few soft-dismissals and a ‘winning six’ that was negated because of a scoring error, added some drama to a lop-sided match.

Chasing Andhra’s 97, the host won by six wickets in the K.S. Subbaiah Pillai Trophy South Zone limited overs tournament that commenced here on Thursday.

Opting to field, skipper R. Vinay Kumar found his decision vindicated by a fragile Andhra. Abhimanyu Mithun struck in the second over as D.B. Prashanth Kumar wafted his bat at one that pitched a shade wide and bounced high. Opener K.S. Bharat, dished out a cameo (25) that included a flicked six off Mithun, but once Vinay’s (three for nine) delivery crashed into the stumps, Karnataka held the aces.

Andhra struggled despite Swaroop Kumar’s (26) resistance and the home team’s two dropped catches that involved C.M. Gautam and Ganesh Satish.

To make it worse, part-timer Manish Pandey grabbed three wickets and Karnataka was looking at an early finish, a desire that was further enhanced by the 81-run partnership between openers Robin Uthappa (54, 69b, 7x4, 1x6) and K.L. Rahul.

Uthappa looked in ominous touch when he lofted Atchuta Rao for a six but once he followed Rahul to the pavilion, Karnataka lost Pandey and Satish too due to poor shot-selection. Eventually Karun Nair hoisted spinner G.V.S. Prasad but then the scorers had erred and the officials admitted that the contest was already over prior to that assault!

Easy for Tamil Nadu

In another game at the Alur Ground, Tamil Nadu registered a seven-wicket victory over Goa. After M. Mohammed and Rahil Shah gained three wickets each to bundle out Goa for 122, Tamil Nadu surged ahead through Murali Vijay’s unbeaten 66 (101b, 6x4, 2x6) while captain S. Badrinath chipped in with 22.

Meanwhile, Pragyan Ojha (four for 15) and T. Suman (61 n.o., 102b, 9x4, 1x6) scripted Hyderabad’s nine-wicket victory over Kerala.

The scores: Andhra 97 in 30.3 overs (Swaroop Kumar 26, K.S. Bharat 25, R. Vinay Kumar three for nine, Manish Pandey three for 25) lost to Karnataka 98 for four in 23.2 overs (Robin Uthappa 54).

Karnataka 4 pts, Andhra 0.

Goa 122 in 36.2 overs (Harshad Gadekar 26, Rahil Shah three for 19, M. Mohammed three for 45) lost to Tamil Nadu 126 for three in 33.2 overs (M. Vijay 66 n.o.).

Tamil Nadu 4, Goa, 0.

Kerala 107 in 33.5 overs (Rohan Prem 47, Pragyan Ojha four for 15) lost to Hyderabad 108 for one in 30 overs (T. Suman 61 n.o.).

Hyderabad 4, Kerala, 0.

Friday’s matches: Karnataka vs Hyderabad; Tamil Nadu vs Andhra; Kerala vs Goa.

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