Syed Mushtaq Ali T20: Karnataka wins South leg

Karnataka showed why it’s one of the most dominant teams in domestic cricket after it thrashed Goa by six wickets to win the South Zone leg of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament.

The victorious Karnataka team.

For a team that won two back-to-back Ranji titles, including a treble (Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy and Irani Trophy) in an year, the last two seasons have been quiet for Karnataka with no major silverware across formats so far. But on Friday, Karnataka showed why it’s one of the most dominant teams in domestic cricket after it thrashed Goa by six wickets to win the South Zone leg of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament here.

The Vinay Kumar-led side went into the final round behind Hyderabad on net run rate, and needed a big win against Goa.

It duly delivered, winning with 8.2 overs to spare, and that gave a huge boost to its net run rate in the case that Hyderabad failed to chase its target against Andhra in 17.2 overs. In the end, Hyderabad crumbled under pressure to its second straight defeat losing by 11 runs and let the title slip from its hands.

In the final match of the day, Tamil Nadu defeated Kerala by five wickets to level on points with Karnataka but lost out on net run rate. TN needed to chase 129 in seven overs to win the league.

Electing to bat, Goa once again squandered a decent start, making only 44 runs in the last nine overs that saw it slip from 76 for three to 120 for seven.

After losing skipper Sagun Kamat early on, opener Swapnil Asnodkar played his usual aggressive brand of cricket clearing the infield easily — the highlight being a pull of S. Arvind over midwicket for six.

Keenan Vaz at the other end looked good too as he quickly raced to 18 off just 11 balls with three boundaries before K. Gowtham produced a spectacular catch off his own bowling, diving to his right across the non-striker.

Soon Asnodkar swept a low full toss to the short fine-leg fielder off J. Scuhith as Goa slumped to 80 for five with the set batsman out and couldn’t recover from there.

With Karnataka needing to get the runs quickly, skipper Vinay Kumar decided to open the innings with Mayank Agarwal. Agarwal got the innings going with 11 of the first over before being dismissed.

K. Gowtham too was promoted up the order to get the job done and along with his skipper, the duo clobbered the Goa bowling.

Karnataka went past 50 in the fifth over before losing three quick wickets. However, Pavan Deshpande did not let the momentum fritter away smashing 32 off just 13 balls to take Karnataka home.

The scores: Goa 120 for seven in 20 overs (Swapnil Asnodkar 34, Keenan Vaz 18, S. Arvind four for 29) lost to Karnataka 121 for four in 11.4 overs (R. Vinay Kumar 34, Pavan Deshpande 32 n.o., Amulya Pandrekar two for 36). Points: Karnataka 4 (16) NRR: +1.363 ; Goa 0 (0) NRR -3.312.

Kerala 128 for six in 20 overs (Sachin Baby 53 n.o., Jalaj Saxena 22, R. Sathish two for 16, A. Aswin Crist three for 19) lost to Tamil Nadu 129 for five in 18.4 overs (B. Aparajith 51 n.o., Sandeep Warrier two for 18). Tamil Nadu 4 (16) NRR: +0.314; Kerala 0 (8) NRR: +0.825.

Andhra 140 in 19.2 overs (Hanuma Vihari 49, Ricky Bhui 21, Ravi Kiran two for 27, Md. Siraj four for 24) bt Hyderabad 129 in 20 overs (Tanmay Agarwal 49, Akash Bhandari 26, P. Girinath Reddy three for 19, D. Swaroop Kumar five for 19). Andhra 4 (8) NRR: -0.725; Hyderabad 0 (12) NRR: +1.030.

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