The victory was set up by Karnataka’s bowlers
Chougule was involved in two century stands
CHENNAI: Karnataka conquered Tamil Nadu by five wickets in Monday’s crucial final-round match to top the South Zone Ranji one-day cricket league and win the K.S. Subbiah Pillai Trophy.
The victory was set up by Karnataka’s bowlers, who did exceedingly well in fine batting conditions to halt Tamil Nadu’s charge in the morning.
S. Badrinath’s men lost their way after R. Ramkumar’s blazing start: from 186 for two in the 30th over, Tamil Nadu stuttered to 289 for nine in 50 overs below par at the fast-scoring ICL-Guru Nanak College ground.
Deepak Chougule’s industrious, unbeaten 111 (115b, 13x4) helped the defending champion control the pursuit. The 23-year-old’s maiden List A century, and his partnerships with B. Akhil and C. Raghu, drove Karnataka past the target with 16 balls to spare.
Tamil Nadu had its moments, but couldn’t capitalise. Ramkumar’s 100-ball 101 (14x4, 2x6) was the kind of game-breaking knock that often decides big matches. But, once the left-hander was caught in the deep off left-arm spinner K.P. Appana, Tamil Nadu’s innings changed complexion. A run later, Ramkumar’s partner in a 138-run stand, S. Vidyut, closed his bat face on a Sunil Joshi delivery for Bharat Chipli to take a tumbling catch at short mid-wicket.
S. Badrinath and R. Prasanna batted a little over 10 overs for 43 runs with Joshi bowling a crafty spell for a part of this period before the slide began.
Joshi had Badrinath caught at wide long-on. Seamer Vinay Kumar forced Prasanna to tickle an intended lap-sweep to the keeper. In between, R. Ashwin and M.K. Sivakumar were run out.
Joshi finished with three for 39 off 10, while Vinay had figures of three for 49 off 10.
Tamil Nadu then reduced Karnataka to 33 for three, Ashwin catching Chipli’s upper-cut, Arun Karthick latching on to C.M. Gowtham’s slash, and ’keeper K.H. Gopinath diving forward to take Vinay.
But, Chougule, batting at five, gave B. Akhil excellent support during a 110-run partnership. Akhil improvised well and exploited the bowlers’ lack of control for a 72-ball 75 (8x4, 1x6). Chougule swept adroitly as he added 101 with Raghu.
The diminutive batsman reached his hundred with a cover-drive and ensured Karnataka achieved the target after the loss of Raghu.
Tamil Nadu 289 for nine in 50 overs (R. Ramkumar 101, S. Vidyut 57, R. Prasanna 46) lost to Karnataka 293 for five in 47.2 overs (B. Akhil 75, Deepak Chougule 111 n.o., C. Raghu 54). Points: Karnataka 4, TN 0.
Hyderabad 259 for eight in 50 overs (Arjun Yadav 54, Abhinav Kumar 105) bt Andhra 164 for nine in 39.5 overs (Shankar Rao 41). Points: Hyderabad 5, Andhra -1.
Kerala 200 for nine in 50 overs (K.J. Rakesh 44) lost to Goa 204 for one in 33.3 overs (Sagun Kamath 92 n.o., Saurav Bandekar 101 n.o.). Points: Goa 5, Kerala -1.
Final standings: 1. Karnataka 22 pts, 2. Tamil Nadu 18 pts, 3. Hyderabad 9 pts, 4. Goa 7 pts, 5. Andhra 3 pts, 6. Kerala 1 pt.