Right through a meandering contest that suddenly galloped towards a gripping stalemate, R. Vinay Kumar held centrestage.
The Karnataka captain scored an unbeaten 47 and grabbed five wickets, inclusive of a match-altering third spell (2-0-13-3).
On another day, Vinay’s efforts would have fetched a victory but Hyderabad, especially its tail, had other ideas.
Fittingly, a tie ensued in the K.S. Subbaiah Pillai Trophy South Zone tournament game at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Friday.
Both Karnataka and Hyderabad finished with 248 each and just as it was throughout the match, Vinay witnessed the final twist from close quarters.
Positioned at mid-off and egging Abhimanyu Mithun to choke Ashish Reddy while Hyderabad needed five from the last delivery, the host skipper watched the tail-ender’s mighty clout sail over him.
But never the one to give up, Vinay sprinted after the ball, dived full-length and watched the ball go for four.
The edge-of-the-seat finish was set up by Hyderabad’s top-order (T. Suman, Akshath Reddy (57) and Ravi Teja) and Alfred Absolem’s six in the final over.
In hindsight, a tie was a fitting climax as Hyderabad had punched above its weight right from the moment Akshath Reddy won the toss, elected to field and Karnataka's batsmen oscillated between restraint and the fatal flash outside the off-stump.
Robin Uthappa (45), Vinay (47 n.o.) and Amit Verma (44) scored crucial runs while the others were guilty of frittering away their starts.
Uthappa was distinctly unhappy when he was adjudged leg before wicket to Pragyan Ojha while seamer Absolem (two for 34) and wicket-keeper Habeeb Ahmed (four catches) relished the snicks emanating from the Karnataka batsmen.
Yomahesh scalps five
In the other matches, Tamil Nadu prospered through seamer V. Yomahesh’s five-wicket haul and defeated Andhra by eight wickets while Kerala registered a three-wicket victory over Goa.
The tournament will resume on Sunday after a break on Saturday.
The scores: Karnataka 248 for eight in 50 overs (R. Vinay Kumar 47 n.o., Robin Uthappa 45, Amit Verma 44) tied with Hyderabad 248 for seven in 50 overs (Akshat Reddy 57, Ashish Reddy 51 n.o., Ravi Teja 44, T. Suman 28, Vinay Kumar five for 42).
Karnataka 2 pts, Hyderabad, 2.
Andhra 126 in 41.3 overs (Atchuth Rao 37, V. Yomahesh five for 31) lost to Tamil Nadu 132 for two in 30.1 overs (U. Susheel 61 n.o., M. Vijay 50).
Tamil Nadu 4, Andhra 0.
Goa 231 in 49 overs (H.H. Gadekar 35, S. Asnodkar 34, Rahul Keni 31, Robin D'Souza 26, P. Parameswaran four for 36) lost to Kerala 232 for seven in 48.5 overs (Sachin Baby 89, V.A. Jagadish 47, Nilesh Surendran 28, Robert Fernandez 25, Amogh Desai three for 19).
Kerala 4, Goa 0.
Keywords: K.S. Subbaiah Pillai Trophy