Rain knocks Karnataka out of the race for Vijay Hazare Trophy

With just one win in six matches, Karnataka (8 points) has no chance of finishing in the top-five of the Elite ‘A’ and Elite ‘B’ groups.

Karnataka batsman Kaunain Abbas was bowled by Railways fast bowler Manish Rao at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday.c   -  Sudhakara Jain

Rain forced the abandonment of Karnataka’s Vijay Hazare Trophy match against Railways, which put paid to the host’s hopes of entering the knockout rounds.

With just one win in six matches, defending champion Karnataka (8 points) has no chance of finishing in the top-five of the Elite ‘A’ and Elite ‘B’ groups. The side has two more matches to play, but there’s not much more than pride at stake.

As it happened

Karnataka has been let down by a poor batting show in this tournament. R. Samarth is the only man to score a century (102 against Baroda), while Mayank Agarwal (66 against Mumbai) is the only other batter to go past the 50-mark.

Trouble began in the opening encounter, against Maharashtra, when the unit made a mess of a routine chase. After keeping the rival down to 245, Karnataka lost its way to finish on 107 for six in a rain-affected outing. The crucial run-outs of Karun Nair and C.M. Gautam, in particular, led to a 57-run loss (via VJD method).

A marauding Mumbai took no prisoners in the next match. Centuries from Shreyas Iyer and Ajinkya Rahane – to go with a 53-ball 60 from Prithvi Shaw – powered Mumbai to an imposing 362. It was too high a mountain to climb for Karnataka.

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A third loss came at the hands of Baroda, as Karnataka’s sub-par total of 237 was never going to be enough on a friendly Alur pitch.

The horror start to the campaign led to big changes in the squad. Manish Pandey was named the skipper in place of R. Vinay Kumar, while Gautam and all-rounder Stuart Binny were left out. The move seemed to work, as Karnataka recorded its first victory, against Vidarbha. There would, however, be no fairytale comeback run after this lone success.

Karnataka suffered from bad luck as well. Matches against arguably two of the weakest teams – Railways and Goa – were abandoned due to rain.

Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair and Prasidh Krishna were picked in the Board President’s XI side after the Baroda outing, but by then, Karnataka was stuck in a deep hole.

For the newly-appointed coaching pair of Yere Goud and S. Arvind, there is plenty of work to be done.

The scores:

Karnataka 229 for five in 42.3 overs (Kaunian Abbas 46, Shreyas Gopal 35 n.o., Manish Pandey 35, Abhishek Reddy 31, M.G. Naveen 34) vs Railways (Match called off due to rain.

Baroda 153 in 41.2 overs (Kedar Devdhar 41, Aditya Waghmode 29, Mayank Dagar five for 27) vs Himachal Pradesh 41 for one in 11.3 overs (Priyanshu Khanduri 33) (Match called off due to rain).

Punjab 359 for four in 50 overs (Anmolpreet Singh 141, Shubman Gill 73, Mandeep Singh 60, Gurkeerat Mann 30 n.o., Manpreet Singh Grewal 36 n.o.) vs Goa 46 for two in 10 overs (Amogh Desai 30 n.o.) (Match called off due to rain).