Karnataka proves too good for Gujarat

Bengal outplayed Tamil Nadu by 77 runs to make it to the semifinals of the Star Sports Vijay Hazare Trophy tournament here on Tuesday. In another quarterfinal, Karnataka proved too good for Gujarat with a 27-run victory.

Having been dismissed for 167 in 42.1 overs, Bengal hit back with a vengeance with some inspired swing bowling by the Man-of-the-Match Ashoke Dinda and Mohammad Shami. Tamil Nadu was reduced to 25 for five from before being shot out for 90 in 33.5 overs.

Only opener Murali Vijay tried to fight back but even his patience deserted him when he went for a hook shot and was taken brilliantly by Sayan Shekhar Mandal at fine-leg off Singh for 24 (85b).

Electing to bat, Bengal did not start well losing Jayojit Basu and Sudip Chatterjee but Manoj Tiwary and Shreevats Goswami steadied the innings.

With the dismissal of Goswami, Tamil Nadu bowlers took the upper hand capturing wickets at regular intervals. Dinda and Sourasish Lahiri added 28 runs for the final wicket to boost the score past 150.

Lahiri top scored with 32 (4x4) while skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla hit 30 (5x4). V. Yomahesh was the most successful Tamil Nadu bowler with four for 23, while R. Ashwin and Rahil Shah claimed two wickets each.

In the other match, Karnataka, put in to bat, found the going tough, losing four wickets for 31 runs. At this juncture Karun Nair joined his senior colleague Robin Uthappa who was struggling against some inspired swing bowling from the Gujarat pacers.

The youngster produced an innings of class, hammering 14 boundaries and one six in 121 balls, to score 120. Even the normally-aggressive Uthappa was left to applaud Nair’s stroke-play in which his sweep of Rakesh Dhruv stood out. He won the ‘Man-of-the-Match’ award.

The two added a tournament-record partnership of 209 for any wicket that put Karnataka on way to a big total. After Nair left, Uthappa made most of the opportunities to take his personal score to an unbeaten 132 which he compiled in 135 balls with 10 hits to the fence and three sixes.

Early wickets

Gujarat’s riposte was nothing short of a disaster. The team quickly lost the cream of the top order for 74 before Rijul Bhatt (63, 93b, 3x4) and Akshar Patel (93, 78b, 12x4) revived its fortunes with a 139-run stand for the fifth wicket.

The Karnataka bowlers toiled hard during this phase as the left-handed Patel hit out. Once the pair was separated, Gujarat slumped to 274 all out.

Abhimanyu Mithun ended with three for 51 and his skipper Vinay Kumar picked up five wickets.

The other two quarterfinals will be played on Wednesday with Railways taking on Punjab and Jharkhand meeting Services. Karnataka will play the winner of the Jharkhand-Services match on Friday.

The scores (quarterfinals): Bengal 167 in 42.1 overs (Sourasish Lahiri 32, L.R. Shukla 30, Manoj Tiwary 25, V. Yomahesh four for 23) bt Tamil Nadu 90 in 33.5 overs (Ashoke Dinda three for 13, Mohammad Shami four for 25).

Karnataka 301 for seven in 50 overs (Robin Uthappa 132 not out, Karun Nair 120, Jasprit Bumrah four for 58) bt Gujarat 274 in 48.2 overs (Rijul Bhatt 67, Akshar Patel 93, Abhimanyu Mithun three for 51, Vinay Kumar five for 85).

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