Special Correspondent

Anshul Jain hits unbeaten 76

NEW DELHI: Rajasthan gave Karnataka a long rope before tightening the noose around it.

Rajasathan thus won by six wickets, with 28 balls to spare, in the Premier Cup quarterfinals here on Wednesday.

Anshul Jain smashed 10 boundaries in his unbeaten 76 and guided Rajasthan past Karnataka's 200 for nine. Rajasthan now plays Punjab in the second day-night semifinals in Jaipur on March 26, a day after Mumbai takes on Uttar Pradesh.

Karnataka's top order failed to negotiate the seaming deliveries, and paid the price. After being asked to bat, Karnataka slumped to 82 for seven before a 116-run eighth-wicket stand between B. Akhil and Sunil Joshi gave some respectability to the total.

Defensive mindset

Rajasthan skipper Mohammad Aslam's defensive mindset, too, contributed to Karnataka's cause as Akhil made amends for a slow start and smashed 86 off 73 deliveries hitting two sixes and eight boundaries.

The partnership gained momentum only after Joshi showed aggressive intent hitting two of his three boundaries early in his knock of 39. Both Akhil and Joshi fell in the final over that produced one six and two boundaries. If Karnataka was hoping to make a comeback like it did against Bengal after losing five early wickets in the pre-quarterfinals at Dharamshala last week, Rajasthan made sure that there was no repeat of that script.

The scores: Karnataka: B. Rowland c Jhalani b Pankaj 1, G. Dhiman c Jhalani b Gehlot 2, D. Chougule c Jhalani b Gehlot 4, C. Raghu lbw b Aslam 6, V.S.T. Naidu c Jhalani b Khan 28, Y. Goud c Rohit b A. Jain 8, B. Akhil b Khan 86, R. Bhatkal lbw b Aslam 9, Sunil Joshi c Joshi b Khan 39, D. Vinay (not out) 1, Extras (lb-2, nb-3, nb-11) 16; Total (for nine wkts., in 50 overs) 200.

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-10, 3-12, 4-49, 5-51, 6-66, 7-82, 8-198, 9-200.

Rajasthan bowling: Pankaj 10-2-27-1, Gehlot 10-2-28-2, Khan 10-1-56-3, Aslam 10-1-34-2, Jain 7-0-33-1, Kuldeep 3-0-20-0.

Rajasthan: Siddharth Joshi c Akhil b Vinay 25, Rohit c Naidu b Raghu 42, A. Jain (not out) 76, N. Doru c Naidu b Raghu 5, R. Bishnoi c Naidu b Akhil 42, Kuldeep (not out) 0; Extras (lb-3, nb-1, w-8) 12. Total (for four wkts., in 45.2 overs) 202.

Fall of wickets: 1-52, 2-97, 3-105, 4-198.

Karnataka bowling: Vinay 10-0-35-1, Srinivas 4-0-37-0, B. Akhil 9-0-37-1, Sunil Joshi 10-2-28-0, C. Raghu 10-0-46-0, R. Bhatkal 2-0-12-0, D. Chougule 0.2-0-4-0.

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