Deodhar Trophy: Karnataka rolls over India 'A' to make final

Pavan Deshpande and R. Samarth led Karnataka's procession as it rolled over India 'A' to reach the final of the 2018 Deodhar Trophy

Karnataka batsmen Pavan Deshpande (L) and R. Samarth Deodhar trophy

Karnataka batsmen Pavan Deshpande (L) and R. Samarth scored 95 and 85 runs, respectively, against India 'A' during the Deodhar Trophy match at the Dharamshala Cricket Stadium in Himachal Pradesh.   -  R. V. Moorthy


Pavan Deshpande made a strong statement on Tuesday to confirm the excellent grooming process that Karnataka boasts of. The left-hander, with a strokeful knock of 95, made an impression on the National selectors as Karnataka defeated India `A’ by 65 runs to enter the final of the Deodhar Trophy tournament here.  

As it happened                                        

In the final on Thursday, Karnataka will meet India `B’.

Deshpande and the immensely talented R. Samarth, who produced 85 delightful runs, took the India `A’ attack by its scruff with a third-wicket partnership of 131 runs. They set up a healthy competition between themselves and increased the agony of the India `A’ bowlers with some clinical hitting.

Apart from Deshpande’s skills to explore the field in front and shots behind the stumps, it was the driving prowess of Samarth that impressed the most. Samarth loves the ball to come onto the bat to revel with backfoot strokes and Deshpande has the game to reach out, his long stride giving him the platform to get cracking.

Samarth and Deshpande tore into the attack with disdain and spared none. The contest turned out to be a nightmare for Mohammed Shami, who presented a pitiable sight, being carted to all corners. Shami conceded 96 runs and Surya Kumar Yadav went for 72 as Karnataka cantered to a match-winning score of 339.

Deshpande crafted his 95 off 87 balls (10 fours and three sixes) while Samarth took the same number of balls for his 85 with eight fours. Stuart Binny and C. M. Gautam indulged in some hitting to leave the India `A’ bowlers bruised and battered.

India `A’ reply was marked by a brilliant knock from Unmukt Chand, who missed an opportunity to sign off with a century. There was lot of composure in the way he approached the target. It was stiff but Unmukt stayed on course, growing in the company of Ishan Kishan.

Unmukt played some crisp shots and Kishan kept pace by playing the lofted shot well. Their third wicket partnership created a flutter in the Karnataka camp but to the extent of sending panic signals. Unmukt’s dismissal after a 70-ball knock with 14 fours left Karnataka in a position of strength and it dictated the remaining course of the match with authority as K. Gowtham finished with four wickets.

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