Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Rahul, Pandey star in Karnataka win over Tamil Nadu

K.L. Rahul, Devdutt Padikkal and Manish Pandey helped Karnataka chase down the target of 159 with nine wickets and 3.4 overs to spare against Tamil Nadu.

Chasing 159, openers KL Rahul (in frame) and Devdutt Padikal set the stage on fire with a blistering opening partnership of 70 runs. (File Photo)   -  SUDHAKARA JAIN

Defending champion Karnataka once again got the better of Tamil Nadu with an easy nine-wicket in the Super League match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in Surat on Thursday.

Chasing 159, openers K.L. Rahul (69 n.o., 6x4, 2x6) and Devdutt Padikkal (36) set the stage on fire with a blistering opening partnership of 70 runs before skipper Manish Pandey (52 n.o., 33b, 5x4, 3x6) too joined the party as Karnataka chased it down with 3.4 overs to spare.

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In the powerplay, Rahul went after Sai Kishore hitting him inside out twice in an over before Padikkal slogged him over mid-wicket to bring the 50-run partnership in the fifth over. Padikkal then went after Vijay Shankar hitting him for two boundaries and a six to finish the powerplay overs with 66 on the board.

Once Padikkal was dismissed, Pandey picked up the baton as he celebrated being picked in the India team for ODIs and T20s with a classy knock. He put on an unbroken 91-run stand with Rahul for the second wicket to help chase down the total with ease.

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Earlier, put in to bat, Dinesh Karthik led from the front to bail Tamil Nadu out from a poor start and help the side post a respectable score of 158/7 in 20 overs.

TN openers C. Hari Nishant and B. Aparajith struggled against a disciplined Karnataka bowling line-up and failed to get going with only 27 runs coming in the powerplay.

Once the openers departed, it was then left to Karthik to stage a recovery and the wicket-keeper batsman did just that as he and Washington Sundar added 76 runs for the third wicket partnership.

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Karthik looked aggressive right from the beginning as he went after leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal, hitting him for a six over mid-wicket and then a four through square leg to get his innings going.

In the next over from Gopal, Karthik picked up three more boundaries as he looked in fine touch to help TN post a big total. But just when things looked good, pacer Ronit More dismissed Karthik, who was caught at deep point for 43 (29b, 5x4, 1x6) in the 14th over.

In the very next over, Washington too was dismissed by spinner left-arm spinner J. Suchith as TN could only manage 13 runs for the loss of two wickets between the 14th and 16th over, which allowed Karnataka to restrict TN to a moderate total.

Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 158/7 in 20 overs (Dinesh Karthik 43, Washington Sundar 39, V Koushik 2/23, Ronit More 2/25) lost to Karnataka 161/1 in 16.2 overs (K.L Rahul 69 n.o., Manish Pandey 52 n.o., Devdutt Padikkal 36).