Kerala gave caps to three new players, but only one of them was actually required to deliver, as the team opened its campaign with a 10-wicket victory against Arunachal Pradesh in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament here on Tuesday.
In a match reduced by rain to 11-overs-a-side, Kerala’s bowlers made life difficult for the Arunachal batters, who could only manage 53 for six.
The innings had begun on a promising note though, with openers Techi Doria (18) and Techi Neri (12) putting on 34, but the former was caught behind off leg-spinner S. Midhun. In the next over, left-arm spinner Sijomon Joseph struck twice and there was no coming back for Arunachal after that.
Midhun also finished with two wickets, while debutant seamer N.P. Basil picked up one. The other debutants for Kerala were Krishna Prasad and Abdul Basith.
Rohan Kunnummal, who is going through a Bradmanesque phase in red-ball cricket, and Vishnu Vinod raced to the modest target with more than half the overs to spare. Rohan was unbeaten on 32 (13b, 5x4, 1x6) and Vinod on 23 (16b, 2x4, 1x6).
“We are glad that we could start the tournament with a comprehensive victory,” Kerala coach Tinu Yohannan told Sportstar.
“A shortened match could sometimes be a lottery, but the boys bowled really well to set up the win.”
Later, Devdutt Padikkal struck an unbeaten 62-ball 124 (14x4, 6x6) to power Karnataka to a thumping 99-run victory against Maharashtra. Manish Pandey made 50 off 38 balls (1x4, 4x6) and added 148 for the second wicket.
Maharashtra never really threatened to overtake Karnataka’s huge total. It was reduced to 34 for six in the ninth over. Divyang Hinganekar top-scored with 47, after coming in at No. 8.
Seamer Vidhwath Kaverappa, on his debut, took three wickets while Vyshak Vijaykumar claimed two.
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