Vijay Hazare final: Mayank stars in Karnataka’s third title

Chasing Karnataka’s none-too-intimidating 253 on a placid Feroz Shah Kotla pitch, Saurashtra remained behind the asking rate, lost six wickets in a space of 58 runs and eventually folded at 212.

Karnataka squad with the Vijay Hazare Trophy after defeating Saurashtra by 41 runs in the final at Feroz Shah Kotla ground in New Delhi on Tuesday.   -  Sandeep Saxena

 

Karnataka got its act right when it mattered and stopped Saurashtra without ever being seriously threatened on way to claiming the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Tuesday.

Chasing Karnataka’s none-too-intimidating 253 on a placid Feroz Shah Kotla pitch, Saurashtra remained behind the asking rate, lost six wickets in a space of 58 runs and eventually folded at 212.

Scorecard

The 41-run victory earned Karnataka its first title of the season and third in the national limited-over championship. The title also gave Karnataka a place in the three-team Deodhar Trophy to be played at Dharamsala early next month.

Saurashtra had reasons to be optimistic after restricting Karnataka but K. Prasidh’s twin-strike, followed by Cheteshwar Pujara’s inability to force the pace and Ravindra Jadeja’s struggle to get going firmly turned the tide in Karnataka’s favour. In fact, Saurashtra tumbled from 77 for two to 135 for eight and virtually fell out of contention.

Though Pujara scored 94 (127b, 10x4, 1x6), for most part, his presence did not hurt Karnataka’s prospects. After the fall of the eighth wicket, Pujara changed gears to hit his last 32 runs off just 15 deliveries before being run out.

Though Pujara scored 94 off 127 balls, his presence did not hurt Karnataka’s prospects.   -  SANDEEP SAXENA

 

Before displaying this late urgency, Pujara stood firm amid the ruins to collect 62 runs off 112 deliveries. His dismissal ended an entertaining 65-run stand, off just eight overs, for the ninth wicket with Kamlesh Makvana.

Karnataka, in spite of Mayank Agarwal’s strokeful 90 (79b, 11x4, 3x6) and his third-wicket stand of 136 runs with his long-time friend R. Samarth (48, 65b, 1x4, 1x6), could only score 253 on a fresh pitch.

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The cheap dismissals of skipper Karun Nair and K.L. Rahul were pushed into the background once Agarwal and Samarth raised their second three-figure partnership in three outings at this venue.

Agarwal, when on 67, became the first to score 700 runs in one season of the championship, and went on to set the record of 723. Across all formats, Agarwal has so far amassed 2141 runs in the domestic season since November.

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The day also saw late arrival of the South African-returned, jet-lagged duo of Rahul for Karnataka and Jaydev Unadkat for Saurashtra, but it did not help the teams’ cause much. Unadkat, welcomed by Agarwal with a cover-driven boundary off the first ball of the innings, went wicketless.

Karnataka skipper Karun Nair with the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi on Tuesday.   -  SANDEEP SAXENA

 

Earlier, Rahul was run out for nought, taking off late for a single.

Among others, only Pavan Deshpande (49, 60b, 4x4, 1x66) and Shreyas Gopal (31, 28b, 6x4) made notable contributions as the Saurashtra bowlers kept getting wickets.

 

Though Karnataka lost its eight wickets for just 112 runs, with off-spinner Makvana getting four for 34, it eventually did not hurt the side as most Saurashtra batsmen succumbed to the pressure of chasing the target.