Vijay Hazare Trophy: Mayank guides Karnataka into quarterfinals

Amidst high drama on the field, Karnataka cruises to a three-wicket win over Chattisgarh to make it to the knockouts

Mayank Agarwal played a knock of 66 to help Karnataka get the better of Chhattisgarh   -  Photo: PTI


Aided by Mayank Agarwal’s second half-century, Karnataka cruised to a three-wicket win over Chhattisgarh in its final Group D engagement of the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Jadavpur University ground here on Monday.

Karnataka, which had already qualified for the quarterfinals, used its last group fixture to give debutant Rohan Kadam and leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal some match practice. It restricted Chhattisgarh to 199 and achieved the target to top the group with 24 points from six consecutive victories.

After electing to bat, Chhattisgarh slumped to 60 for four. Nevertheless, Abhimanyu Chauhan (62 off 103 balls, 6x4) applied himself to add 43 runs with captain Mohammed Kaif. Abhimanyu played with a straight bat and placed the ball in the gaps.

Despite Kaif retiring hurt on 18 due to discomfort in his right leg, Abhimanyu built another useful partnership of 32 runs with Amandeep Khare (30 off 43, 3x4, 1x6).

Kaif, who returned on Abhimanyu’s departure, forged stands of 26 runs apiece with Khare and Shubham Agarwal (11) and remained not out on 39 (off 51 balls, 4x4).

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Vinay used the morning conditions well to bowl miserly and capture three wickets, while Prasidh picked up two through his fast and accurate yorkers.

Karnataka had a bright start as its opening duo of Robin Uthappa (23) and Mayank Agarwal added 52 runs. When Mayank was on one, he had a close shave in the second over. Chhattisgarh fielders appealed for a catch (off pacer Omkar Verma) behind the stumps, but umpire Virender Sharma decided in favour of the batsman after consulting his on-field colleague Umesh Dubey.

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This ensued an ugly episode as Kaif seemed to be urging the umpires to go for a television referral to ascertain the legitimacy of the catch. However, the umpires stuck to their decision and Kaif led his team mates to go off the field.

Action resumed only after match referee Nitin Goel’s intervention.

An unperturbed Mayank played some attractive strokes on both sides to gather 12 boundaries, including eight on the off, in his 76-ball 66. He formed partnerships worth 34 and 62 with Rohan (17) and Manish Pandey (34 off 40) respectively before being caught at gully off Pankaj Rao.

Karnataka lost a few quick wickets but didn't have any trouble in reaching the winning total.

Brief scores: Chhattisgarh 199 in 48.5 overs (Abhimanyu Chauhan 62, Mohammed Kaif 39 not out; R. Vinay Kumar 3-19) lost to Karnataka 200-7 in 37.3 overs (Mayank Agarwal 66, Manish Pandey 34; Shubham Thakur three for 38).

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