Karthik, Mayank star in South Zone T20

India cricketer Dinesh Karthik smashed 57 to help Tamil Nadu beat Andhra; riding on Mayank Agarwal’s heroics, Karnataka thrashed Goa.

Dinesh Karthik’s rapid-fire 57 — involving nine fours and two sixes — helped Tamil Nadu overhaul Andhra’s modest 119 with more than five overs to spare.   -  K.R. DEEPAK

Tamil Nadu and Karnataka recorded clinical wins over Andhra and Goa respectively on the opening day of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 South Zone championship at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy stadium on Monday.

Dinesh Karthik’s rapid-fire 57 — involving nine fours and two sixes —rocketed TN to victory. It overhauled Andhra’s modest 119 with more than five overs to spare. Mayank Agarwal’s aggressive knock from the outset helped set up an imposing 172 for four and stop Goa at 123 for eight.

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At Vizianagaram, Sachin Baby’s valiant endeavour went in vain against Hyderabad as it missed the mark by 10 runs when he himself fell four balls from the close with a splendid 79, accompanied with seven fours and two sixes.

Goa invited Karnataka to bat. The former’s hopes that its seamers would capitalise on a 9 a.m. start were dashed soon enough. Instead, Karnataka’s openers went into assault mode from the word go. Agarwal (55 off 35, with eight fours and two sixes) exploited the unmanned open spaces behind square, cutting the Goan attack to ribbons.

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The Bangalore-born batsman revelled in the run-making; with the ball flying to all parts of the ground from sweetly timed strokes. His second six off Darshan Misal sailed over long on. Off the next ball, the slow left arm orthodox spinner dipped it short and the flashy opener spooned back a catch to the bowler, the pick of the lot with three for 27. Stuart Binny’s unbeaten 28 off 16 and Pravin Dubey’s 11-ball 17 spruced up the finish.

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Karnataka’s counter was quick, Swapnil Asnodkar’s snick off Abhimanyu Mithun held by third man C.M. Gautam inched inside the ropes. Less than a fourth of the way, Goa lost Amogh Desai too, his pat off R. Vinay Kumar picked up by mid off Dubey. Half-way through, it seemed stranded at 48, the target looming too large on the horizon.

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Karnataka’s disciplined bowling and precise placement ensured fielders broke no sweat to take their catches.

Tamil Nadu’s new ball operators Vignesh K and A. Davidson struck in their very first overs, the former castling Ashwin Hebbar. The latter felled Andhra skipper Hanuma Vihari, who smacked the descending ball on the full, against the pace and was snapped up by mid off B. Aparajit leaping to the front.

Brief scores:

At Vizag: Karnataka 172/4 (Samarth R. 28, Mayank Agarwal 55, Stuart Binny 28*; Darshan Misal; 3/27) bt Goa 123/8 (Sagun Kamat 28); Andhra 119 for seven (Ricky Bhui 25) lost to Tamil Nadu (Dinesh Karthik 57).

At Vizianagaram: Hyderabad 168/5 (Akshat Reddy 34, B. Sandeep 25, A.T. Rayudu 52 not out) bt Kerala 158/7 (Sachin Baby 79).

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