A batting effort that fused solidity with the right momentum shifts helped Karnataka stay ahead of Kerala right through its K.S. Subbaiah Pillai Trophy South Zone limited-overs tournament match at the BITS Pilani Ground here on Friday.
Opener K.L. Rahul’s assurance (86, 98b, 6x4, 1x6), which seemed to have rubbed off on Robin Uthappa (54), Stuart Binny (60) and Ganesh Satish (40), and Karun Nair’s feverish 19-ball 46 (2x4, 4x6) propelled Karnataka to 322 for five.
It was a target that was too steep for Kerala, especially after it mustered just 32 for three in 10 overs with seamer S. Sharath scything through the top-order.
The Kerala middle-order waged a futile battle with Robert Fernandez (55), Sachin Baby (61), Raiphy Vincent Gomez (44) and K. Rakesh (41 not out) trying their best.
In the end, they only had the satisfaction of denying Karnataka a bonus point as Kerala finished at 270 for six.
Earlier, Rahul started sedately while Uthappa played his customary shots, cutting Sandeep Warrier and flicking Prasanth Parameswaran. Rahul struck an ominous note with a hook off Warrier and after that four, the opener was well on his way.
Rahul, dropped on 24 by Robert, shared 112 for the first wicket with Uthappa.
Even as the rest of the batsmen compiled their runs with ease, Rahul launched a six over mid-wicket off Gomez while Ganesh Satish proved that the image of him being an obdurate batsman was wrong.
The finish-line frenzy, however, belonged to Karun, who caned all the bowlers and Kerala was down for the count even before it began its chase.
At Porvorim, after an inept top-order left the score tottering at 45 for three, skipper Dinesh Karthik (90, 87b, 10x4) and Baba Aparajith (75) ensured that Tamil Nadu reached 274 for nine against Goa.
The pursuit proved too stiff for Goa once seamer Sunil Sam prised out Manvinder Bisla, Sagun Kamat and Swapnil Asnodkar cheaply.
The host was bowled out for 182 in the 44th over.
Meanwhile, Hyderabad suffered another shock defeat, a two-run loss to Andhra at Margao.
Chasing Andhra’s 202, Hyderabad made 200 with Hanuma Vihari (61) delaying the inevitable.
The Andhra seamers, K.S. Shahabuddin and P. Vijay Kumar, grabbed seven wickets between them to fashion a thrilling win.
Saturday is a rest day.
At Vasco: Karnataka 322 for five in 50 overs (K.L. Rahul 86, Stuart Binny 60, Robin Uthappa 54, Karun Nair 46 n.o., Ganesh Satish 40, Manish Pandey 25) bt Kerala 270 for six in 50 overs (Sachin Baby 61, Robert Fernandez 55, Raiphy Vincent Gomez 44, K. Rakesh 41 n.o., S. Sharath four for 40).
Points: Karnataka 4, Kerala 0
At Porvorim: Tamil Nadu 274 for nine in 50 overs (Dinesh Karthik 90, Baba Aparajith 75, Yomahesh 25) bt Goa 182 in 43.1 overs (R. Shukla 61, Sunil Sam three for 58).
Tamil Nadu 5, Goa -1
At Margao: Andhra 202 in 48.5 overs (B. Sumanth 63, K.S. Bharat 37, Pragyan Ojha four for 24, Ashish Reddy three for 52) bt Hyderabad 200 in 49.4 overs (G.H. Vihari 61, Habeeb Ahmed 36, Amol Shinde 34, K.S. Shahabuddin four for 46, P. Vijay Kumar three for 30).
Andhra 4, Hyderabad 0