Swarupam Purkayastha scored an excellent century to guide Assam to a stunning six-wicket win over Karnataka in an Elite Group-B match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day tournament at the 22 Yards ground here on Saturday.
Assam, electing to field, restricted Karnataka for 296 for four and relied on an unbeaten 131-run partnership between experienced hands Swarupam (112 n.o., 102b, 17x4) and Sibsankar Roy (66 n.o., 49b, 7x4, 2x6) to script its fourth victory and become the group-topper.
Chasing a tricky total, Assam achieved a solid start as Rahul Hazarika (50, 84b, 5x4, 1x6) added 42 runs with captain Kunal Saikia (15, 26b, 1x4) for the opening wicket and 82 with Swarupam for the second.
Following Hazarika’s run out, Assam lost two more wickets but Swarupam batted with determination to forge a match-winning partnership with Sibsankar.
Swarupam, dropped on 50, batted smartly – placing the ball in the gaps, executing cheeky late-cuts and driving handsomely to keep the scorers busy.
Southpaw Sibsankar picked his areas to display his array of strokes and score quickly.
The left-right combination ran hard for runs and punished the loose deliveries. They gradually shifted the pressure back on the bowlers before ensuring Karnataka’s first defeat.
In the absence of pacer V.Kaverappa, his replacement M.Venkatesh took two wickets.
Karnataka, following a watchful first hour, gained from a 100-run association between captain Mayank Agarwal (64, 83b, 5x4, 3x6) and Nikin Jose (100, 106b, 9x4, 1x6), who drove nicely on both sides to get his maiden hundred.
Nikin gathered 97 with Manish Pandey (58 n.o., 64b, 2x4, 1x6). Manoj Bhandage’s cameo (35 n.o., 19b, 1x4, 3x6) helped Karnataka post a competitive aggregate despite some tidy bowling by Assam.
At the CCFC ground, Delhi trounced Sikkim by 10 wickets. Lalit Yadav and Nitish Rana captured three wickets apiece to bundle out Sikkim for 76. Delhi overhauled the total inside 10 overs.