Hundreds from Mayank Agarwal and Samarth R set up Karnataka’s 222-run demolition of Jammu & Kashmir in its Group C opener of the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Narendra Modi Stadium Ground B here on Thursday.
The opening pair forced the J&K bowling unit into submission with its 267-run stand and powered the team to 402/2.
Unperturbed by the low bounce early on, Agarwal took his chances against Rasikh Salam, pocketing three boundaries through the off side. Samarth got going, flicking two half-trackers on his pads from Salam through square leg.
Agarwal blunted the spinners in the middle overs, dancing down the wicket to hit two sixes against Sahil Lotra in the 13th over. Skipper Shubham Khajuria’s ploy to use his range of part-timers bore little to no rewards. His trump card, Umran Malik, failed to dent the flow of runs either.
To rub salt in its wounds, Agarwal was put down on 67 by Qamran Iqbal off Abdul Samad’s bowling. Making the most of his second life, Agarwal completed his century in 104 deliveries. Before Agarwal, Samarth got to his ton in 97 deliveries.
Samarth was sent packing in the 37th over by Salam’s yorker. But Mayank’s onslaught continued undeterred past 150. Courtesy of Mayank’s heroics and Devdutt Padikkal’s 35-ball 71, Karnataka added 128 in the final 10 overs.
The only phase when J&K’s reply looked on course was during Vivrant Sharma’s counterattack in the PowerPlay. After opener Iqbal fell in the fourth over, Vivrant took the initiative by playing across the line against pacers to take his team to 60/1.
Vyshak Vijayakumar caused a momentum shift when he sent Khajuriya’s off stump cartwheeling to break the 58-run second-wicket stand. In his next over, he removed Henan Nazir and Samad in the space of three deliveries to strangle J&K.
Vivrant’s defiance broke against J. Suchith who induced an error to castle the southpaw on 41 before Krishnappa Gowtham prised out two in the 22nd over.
Yudhvir Singh’s 39-ball 64 at number nine gave J&K something to cheer for but it merely delayed the evitable as the side folded for 180.
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