Kedar Devdhar century helps Baroda ease past Karnataka

Defending champion Karnataka succumbed to its third defeat in four matches with a seven-wicket loss to Baroda in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

Kedar Devdhar scored a fine 123 and stitched a 125-run third-wicket partnership with Deepak Hooda in Baroda's win against Karnataka in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.   -  Sudhakara Jain

Karnataka left its hopes of qualification for the knock-out stages of the Vijay Hazare Trophy in peril with a seven-wicket defeat to Baroda at the Just Cricket Ground near Bengaluru on Wednesday. It was the defending champion’s third defeat in four matches. With just two points on board and only four games remaining, Karnataka’s task is herculean.

Baroda was rarely troubled during its chase, reaching the rain-reduced target of 227 runs (47 overs) with 21 balls to spare. Kedar Devdhar scored a fine century (123, 128b, 11x4, 2x6) and the 125-run third-wicket partnership he stitched together with Deepak Hooda (55, 66b, 1x4, 2x6) sealed Baroda’s second win of the campaign.

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The Karnataka bowlers were pedestrian at best and Devdhar and Hooda duly capitalised. The former started confidently – first with a cut that neatly bisected the point and gully fielders and then an excellent leg glance. It was indicative of the kind of form he was in after having made 46 and 39 in his previous two innings.

Only that this time around he seemed intent on getting a big score. Alongside Hooda, he milked the home attack bringing up his half-century in 57 balls and the hundred 56 balls later. Hooda, who was dropped on 12 by M.G. Naveen, too played a subdued knock, but with two big sixes over mid-wicket he did showcase his natural style.

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Earlier, Karnataka, which was put into bat, was propped up by a century by R. Samarth (102, 125b, 8x4). He came in to bat after opener Abhishek Reddy was caught behind for a two-ball duck in the very first over and was the last man dismissed. But for Mayank Agarwal (34, 40b) and Karun Nair (37, 55b), he didn’t get much support.

The Baroda bowlers, led by Atit Sheth (9-0-42-4) bowled a stifling line, making boundaries hard to come by. Not until the No. 8 batsman K. Gowtham came in, was there an earnest attempt to up the scoring rate. He clubbed a six and two fours in quick succession much to the delight of the sparse but vocal crowd.

But once he fell in the 46th over, Karnataka scored only 24 runs off the next 28 balls with just a solitary boundary off a misfield.

The scores:

Karnataka 237 in 50 overs (Mayank Agarwal 34, R. Samarth 102, Karun Nair 37, K. Gowtham 28, Atit Sheth four for 42) lost to Baroda 230 for three in 43.3 overs (Kedar Devdhar 123, Deepak Hooda 62 n.o.) [Target reduced to 227 from 47 overs after rain interrupted play].

Vidarbha 297 for seven in 50 overs (Faiz Fazal 91, Atharva Taide 148 n.o.) lost to Himachal Pradesh 298 for six in 47.5 overs (Priyanshu Khanduri 63, Ankush Bains 173 n.o.).

Railways 180 in 48.2 overs (Mrunal Devdhar 64, Prashant Awasthi 25, Ashish Yadav 30, Manish Rao 28) lost to Maharashtra 186 for three in 41.2 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 84, J.S. Pande 38, Mandar Bhandari 29).

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