Karnataka captain Vinay Kumar effected a run-out off the last ball to help his team snatch a one-run win over Mumbai in a group-D league encounter of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy inter-state T20 match here at the DRIEMS ground on Sunday.
In the other matches of the day at Barabati Stadium, Uttar Pradesh easily beat Odisha by 32 runs to reach the top of the group with eight points from successive wins. Maharashtra picked up its first points downing Services by 31 runs to remain in the hunt for a knock-out spot. After the second round action, Karnataka, Mumbai, Services and Maharashtra remained in the second spot with four points each while Odisha is yet log any point losing both its matches.
Vinay Kumar’s last over cameo titled the balance for Karnataka as he made good use of his international experience bowling the correct line in the death which yielded two wickets in the final two balls turning the match head on. Put in to bat Karnataka showed better application compared to its unsuccessful first round outing against Services. Karnataka lost opener Mayank Agarwal early but Mohammad Taha and Robin Uthappa recovered from the early setback with 64-run partnership for the second wicket.
Young Taha gave a capable support to the accomplished Uthappa as the two stroked freely against a determined bowling attack of Mumbai. Uthappa survived two confident leg-before appeals off Mumbai pacer Shardul Thakur initially but shrugged it off soon making his 30 (25b, 4x4, 6x1) a fluent effort in the end. Taha (37, 32b, 4x4, 6x1) was equally efficient before Stuart Binny took on the reins of scoring with an aggressive 38 off just 19 deliveries, which contained three hits to the boundary and two over it. Karnakata reached a strong 162 and could have got a bigger score had it not lost its final three wickets in the last three deliveries of the concluding over bowled by Rohan Raje (who missed a hat-trick as the last wicket was a run out).
Fairly aggressive efforts from opener Shreyas Iyer (32, 29b, 4x4, 6x1) and captain Aditya Tare (28, 19b, 3x4, 1x6) kept Mumbai fairly close to the required run rate but it was a remarkable rearguard effort from seasoned Abhisek Nair that took Mumbai close to the target. The left-hander hit four sixes and two boundaries in his 32-ball 49 but fell rather cheaply when Mumbai needed just two runs for a win. With Mumbai needing 12 runs in the final over, Nair hit Vinay Kumar for a six off the first ball to make a win look probable. But he failed to finish the good work and edged it behind trying to pick up the winning runs in the penultimate ball. The last Mumbai wicket, Praveen Tambe, pushed the final ball straight at Kumar who ran him out easily picking it up on the follow-through and accomplished a dramatic 1-run win.
After taming Maharashtra in the first round, Uttar Pradesh strengthened its claim for a knock-out spot beating host Odisha with comparative ease. Opener Prashant Gupta 53 (40b, 5x4, 1x6) and Eklavya Dwivedi (47, 46b, 5x4, 1x6), who came in at No. 3, did the bulk of the batting for UP, which scored 150 for five on being asked to bat first. Chasing the target of 151, Odisha failed to contain the disciplined bowling of UP led by Amit Mishra and could reach 118 for eight in the allotted quota of 20 overs.
Karnataka beat Mumbai by 1 run.