Clinical India 'B' beats Karnataka to lift Deodhar Trophy

Set a victory target of 280, India 'B' chased down the total to beat Karnataka by six wickets in the final.

The victorious India 'B' team after beating Karnataka in the final.   -  R.V. Moorthy

India 'B', with a collective performance, upstaged the good show by Karnataka middle-order batsmen, R. Samarth (107) and C.M. Gautam (76) in the final of the Deodhar Trophy cricket tournament here on Thursday.

Set a target of 280 to win, India 'B’, building on a responsible 84-run start by Ruturaj Gaikwad (58 off 48 balls, seven 4s and two 6s) and Abhimanyu Easwaran (69 of 82 balls, eight 4s), drew on its batting reserves to win the contest by six wickets.

Key highlights from Deodhar final: India 'B' vs Karnataka

Shreyas Iyer (61 off 69 balls, seven 4s) and Manoj Tiwary (59 off 51 balls, eight 4s) prospered on the flat pitch to finish the job in style as Karnataka bowlers failed to complement the good work of Samarth and Gautam. India 'B' was well-served earlier by left-arm Khaleel Ahmed, who emerged as the bowler of the day.

Gaikwad’s calculated assault, peppered with sweetly-timed drives, and support from consistent opener Easwaran set up the chase for India 'B'. Iyer and Tiwary ensured there were no alarms with a partnership of 83 runs.

Karnataka once again showcased its batting depth, thanks to Samarth and his 132-run fifth-wicket partnership with Gautam, after the top order of the Karnataka innings was cleaned up by Umesh Yadav and Ahmed, who was the pick of the bowlers.

Ahmed worked up pace and hurried the batsmen on a pitch which was on the slower side and better suited for spinners. Ahmed struck an excellent length and earned the respect of the Karnataka batsmen, especially Samarth, who maintained an excellent form to notch his second century of the tournament.

Former Test batsman Brijesh Patel, who has watched Samarth from his early days, described the 25-year-old as a, “technically sound batsman with lot of maturity for his age. He has a well-organised game with firm defence.” There was not a semblance of flaw in Samarth’s performance as he revelled with shots all over.

Gautam joined Samarth with Karnataka, having opted to bat, struggling at 64 for four. India'B' sensed a good chance to skittle the opposition out cheaply but Samarth and Gautam handled the challenge adroitly.

Gautam fell to a leg-side nick that was snapped by wicketkeeper K.S. Bharat after a juggle. His 76 off 84 balls (six 4s and two 6s) was followed by a 22-ball cameo from Shreyas Gopal (four 4s and one 6). Samarth was the seventh batsman to fall when he holed out to mid-off after a 120-ball knock that contained eights fours and a six. His innings, however, failed to inspire a Karnataka victory.

Brief scores:

Karnataka 279/8 in 50 overs (Samarth 107, Gautam 76, Ahmed 3-49) lost to India 'B' 281/4 in 48.2 overs (Easwaran 69, Iyer 61, Tiwary 59, Shreyas 2-55) by six wickets.

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