Karthik century leads TN to Deodhar Trophy title

The wicketkeeper-batsman scored 126 in his team’s 42-run win over India Red in the final.

Dinesh Karthik capped off a productive domestic season with a match-winning century.   -  K. R. Deepak

 

Dinesh Karthik’s brilliance with the bat, which led to his team-mates giving him a special ‘guard of honour’, and the efficacy of slow bowlers under pressure fashioned Tamil Nadu’s impressive 42-run win over India Red in the final of the Deodhar Trophy at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Stadium here on Wednesday.

Scorecard

This is the second major title-triumph for Tamil Nadu after winning the Vijay Hazare Trophy recently.

India Red had built a solid foundation in its chase of 304. Left-hand opener Shikhar Dhawan (45, 31b, 8 x 4, 1 x 6) batted well at the top, before Manish Pandey and Harpreet Bhatia featured in a productive partnership for a launchpad for a final assault. Pandey left the field indisposed in the 15th over, only to return in the 42nd over when the team was under pressure at 222 for 6. Ambitious strokes led to the dismissals of Dhawan, a well-set Bhatia, and the big-hitting Axar Patel, which contributed to the their team’s loss.

READ: Tamil Nadu captain showers praise on Dinesh Karthik

This was the result of a splendid show by the spinners, led by left-armer Rahil Shah; they choked the run-flow in the middle-overs with accurate bowling. Once Gurkeerat Mann (64, 85b, 7 x 4) and Pandey (32, 24b, 5 x 4) fell in quick succession, it was virtually all over. Tamil Nadu had successfully seized the big moments.

Dinesh Karthik show

Earlier, it was yet another special performance from Dinesh Karthik (126, 91b, 14 x 4, 3 x 6) as he strung together a 136-run stand for the fourth wicket with Narayan Jagadeesan (55, 62b, 4 x 4, 1 x 6) to steady Tamil Nadu’s ship after it wobbled early at 39 for three in 10.3 overs.

Karthik, who was also the 'Man of the Match', displayed his wide range of strokes. He picked 22-year-old left-arm pacer Chama Milind for special treatment, hitting him for a six and two fours in the latter’s fourth over; eventually, he took six fours and a six off him in all. Even the experienced Ashok Dinda received a similar treatment in his seventh over - four, four, and six.

In energy-sapping conditions, the tired Karthik finally got out, slashing a delivery from left-arm spinner Axar Patel straight to the fielder in the 39th over with Tamil Nadu on 241. This was after being dropped in the same over in the covers.

For India Red, the fiery pacer Dhawal Kulkarni was outstanding, especially in his first spell of 7-1-22-3. The delivery to send back pinch-hitter Murugan Ashwin was a special; it kicked off from a good-length spot and forced the batsman to snick to lone slip.