Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Rahul, Padikkal shine in Karnataka's win over Jharkhand

Devdutt Padikkal and K.L. Rahul put up 114-run opening stand as Karnataka beat Jharkhand by 13 runs in the Super League match.

Devdutt Padikkal scored 63 and put up a solid opening stand with K.L. Rahul.   -  Sudhakara Jain

Devdutt Padikkal and K.L. Rahul, for the second time in as many days made merry at the top of the order for Karnataka as it beat Jharkhand by 13 runs in the Super League match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament here on Friday. The duo’s 114-run opening wicket stand in less than 10 overs helped Karnataka post a big total of 189.

In reply, Virat Singh’s unbeaten 76 off just 44 balls kept Jharkhand in the hunt till the last over before eventually falling short. Opener Anand Singh (41) set the tone for the chase initially and added 44-runs with Virat Singh for the second wicket partnership.

Anand was particularly severe on leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal hitting him for a couple of sixes before he was dismissed by Pravin Dubey.

Read: Debutant Siddharth leads TN to convincing win

Virat Singh then took charge of the innings and the left-hander slammed the Karnataka bowlers all over the park in his knock that included six sixes but lacked support at the end to take his side over the line.

Earlier, put in to bat, Padikkal and Rahul went hammer and tongs from the go with the latter picking 13 runs off the first over. Padikkal soon joined the party with his first four scoring shots coming off boundaries.

He started by cutting Monu Singh for a four and a six behind square on the off-side before flicking Varun Aaron over fine leg and mid-wicket for two boundaries that took him to 18.

The left-handed opener treated Aaron with disdain, be it pulling him or hitting him straight over his head as he did in the fifth over which fetched him two boundaries and a six.

Padikkal got to his fifty with a fine late cut off just 20 balls. Rahul too dealt in boundaries with ease at the other end as they brought their 50-run partnership in the fourth over with the 79 coming in the PowerPlay.

The duo took the side past 100 by the eighth over as Jharkhand bowlers looked clueless against this onslaught. After getting a reprieve on 53, Padikkal finally was dismissed for 63, caught at midwicket to off-spinner Utkarsh Singh.

For Jharkhand, left-arm spinner Sonu Kumar Singh was the star performer with the ball dismissing Rahul and Manish Pandey in the same over that put the brakes on Karnataka’s assault and later accounted for Karun Nair as well. Karnataka managed only 63 runs after the fall of Rahul’s wicket in the 11th over but in the end it proved to be just enough to secure its second win in as many matches.