SMAT 2021-22: Karnataka nails Bengal in Super Over; TN halts Kerala

When Bengal needed a run to win off the last ball, Pandey’s throw found the stumps at the non-striker’s end to run out Akash Deep and forced the Super Over.

Karun Nair's unbeaten 55 off 29 balls set the tone for Karnataka at the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 game against Bengal on Thursday.   -  FILE PHOTO/RITU RAJ KONWAR

From staring at elimination in fading light to a place in the semifinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Karnataka covered the distance riding on skipper Manish Pandey’s handiwork.

When Bengal needed a run to win off the last ball, Pandey’s throw found the stumps at the non-striker’s end to run out Akash Deep and forced the Super Over.

After Bengal ended at 5 for two off four deliveries of Super Over, Pandey took two runs off the first ball and then sent the next soaring into the stands behind mid-wicket as Karnataka avenged the loss  suffered in the league nine days ago at Guwahati.

This thriller followed Tamil Nadu’s dominating chase of Kerala’s 181/4 with five wickets to spare.

At the Air Force ground, Vidarbha shut out Rajasthan with a nine-wicket drubbing and Hyderabad won by 30 runs against Gujarat.

READ| Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy quarterfinal: Karnataka beats Bengal in Super Over to reach semifinals

But Karnataka-Bengal turned out to be the match of the competition.  After Karnataka posted 160/5, built largely on Karun Nair’s unbeaten 29-ball 55 (4x4, 3x6), Bengal started with a 20-run over from Vijaykumar Vyshak and stayed on course till top-scorer Writtick Chatterjee (51, 40b, 2x4, 3x6) exited in the 15th over.

But Karnataka, back in the game after Suchith’s twin-wicket over, had to deal with Ritwik Chowdhury (36 not out, 18b, 4x4, 2x6). Needing 20 runs off the final over, from medium pacer Vidyadhar Patil, Ritwik hit 6, 6, 1 and Akash Deep hit a straight-driven boundary. Two runs, including an overthrow, followed and Bengal needed a run off the last ball. But a throw from Pandey caught Akash Deep short of the non-striker’s end.

In Super Over, leg spinner K. C. Cariappa scalped Kaif Ahmed off the second ball and Sreevats Goswami was run out – for the second time in the match – off the fourth to set the stage for Pandey to put the finishing touches.

Earlier, opener Rohan Kunnummal (51, 43b, 5x4) laid the foundation and Vishnu Vinod ensured that Sanju Samson’s second-ball duck did not hurt Kerala by smashing an unbeaten 65 (26b, 2x4, 7x6) as 23, 19 and 20  runs came off the last three overs.

Undeterred, TN batters took up the responsibility and even without a half-century, finished the job in a business-like manner.

The early loss of N. Jagadeesan (7) brought Sai Sudarshan (46, 31b,  7x7) and Hari Nishanth (32, 22b, 2x4, 2x6) together. Skipper Vijay Shankar (33, 26b, 1x4, 2x6) and Sanjay Yadav (32, 22b, 1x4, 2x6) gave no respite to Kerala. Shahrukh Khan produced an unbeaten 9-ball 19 with two sixes before M. Mohammad hit the winning six off the first
ball he faced.

Saturday's semifinals: Tamil Nadu-Hyderabad; Karnataka-Vidarbha.

The scores:

Karnataka 160/5 in 20 overs (Karun Nair 55 n.o., Rohan Kadam 30) tied with Bengal 160/8 in 20 overs (Writtick Chatterjee 51, Ritwik Roy Chowdhury 36 n.o., M. B. Darshan 3/26).

Kerala 181/4 in 20 overs (Vishnu Vinod 65 n.o., Rohan Kunnummal 51, Sachin Baby 33) lost to Tamil Nadu 187/5 in 19.3 overs (Sai Sudarshan 46, Vijay Shankar 33, Hari Nishaanth 32, Sanjay Yadav 32, Unnikrishnan Manukrishnan 3/26).

Hyderabad 158/5 in 20 overs (Tilak Varma 75, Tanmay Agarwal 31) bt Gujarat 128/8 in 20 overs (Ripal Patel 35, T. Ravi Teja 3/27).

Rajasthan 84/8 in 20 overs (Kamlesh Nagarkoti 39 n.o.) lost to Vidarbha 87/1 in 14.5 overs (Atharva Taide 40 n.o.).

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