Karnataka rode on Devdutt Padikkal’s century (117, 122b, 13x4, 5x6) to navigate an early trough and beat Uttarakhand by 52 runs in the Group C Vijay Hazare Trophy match at the Narendra Modi Stadium here on Saturday.
After putting Karnataka in to bat, Uttarakhand’s pace-duo of Rajan Kumar and Deepak Dhapola made merry with the new ball, sticking to the probing fourth-stump line.
Mayank Agarwal was the first to depart, on the second ball of the innings, fending outside off to hole out at first slip.
While Padikkal got off the blocks with two boundaries off Kumar, one each through point and mid-wicket, he was forced to retreat against lateral movement. R Samarth’s torrid time in the middle saw a similar end as Agarwal’s when he poked in the fourth stump channel and offered a catch to Aditya Tare behind the stumps.
Padikkal drew from his share of fortune too when his slash off Rajan in the 18th over evaded the grasp of the first slip. The southpaw’s incursion started against the left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh and right-arm leg break Himanshu Bisht, both offering a favourable match-up for him.
Padikkal slog-swept Swapnil for four before stepping out and lofting over mid-wicket for six in the 30th over. In the 35th, Padikkal crossed the three-figure mark with a step-out hoick over long off. S. J. Nikin Jose picked his moments to press and played the perfect second fiddle as he got to a fifty in 66 balls.
It was the insistence on keeping the tempo which saw Padikkal paddle scoop a length delivery to short fine leg. But the 131-run association for the third wicket served well for Manish Pandey who waltzed to a 40-ball 56 to get Karnataka to 284 for seven.
Uttarakhand’s response stuttered from the outset with Avneesh Sudha offering a feather to the keeper off V Koushik in the second over. The only colour in the otherwise drab PowerPlay 1 was Yuvraj’s Choudhary six against Vyshak Vijaykumar in the 10th over.
But Vyshak had the last laugh in the next over, when his length delivery stuck in the pitch and caught Choudhary’s leading edge, leaving Uttarakhand two down at 39 in the 12th over.
The 48 runs added between Jiwanjot Singh and Dikshanshu Negi for the third wicket brought momentary hope. But the urgency to keep up with the asking rate got the latter to hole out at deep cover in the 22nd over. Jiwanjot fell four short of a well-deserved fifty when he sliced J. Suchith to point in the next over.
Aditya Tare and Swapnil Singh got together for 30 runs but never threatened to take the game away. When the tail appeared to be caving in at 157 for eight, Rajan and Kunal Chandela added 71 runs for the ninth wicket, ensuring their side salvaged pride by playing out the 50 overs.
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