Nishant Sindhu and Rohit Sharma (63, 70b, 7x4, 1x6) brushed away a nervy start and guided Haryana to a five-wicket win over Karnataka in their Group C match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the ADSA Railway Cricket Stadium here on Sunday.
Joining forces at 35 for three, Rohit and Sindhu steered Haryana to its target of 144 with their 99-run partnership. With six wins out of six, Haryana also sealed a knockouts berth.
Rohit slog swept to great effect, collecting six off J. Suchith and a four against Krishnappa Gowtham. Sindhu’s charge was limited to two boundaries he managed by cover-driving Manoj Bhandage. Rohit also made the most of his over-pitched balls with back-to-back on drives.
Suchith managed to create a chance when he induced an edge off Rohit in the 14th over only to see it fly wide of slip.
Wanting to settle the contest in a hurry, Sindhu and Rohit departed in the space of three deliveries. With the team just 10 short of its destination, Yuzvendra Chahal fancied his chances, promoted himself, and got the job done alongside captain Ashok Menaria with 113 balls to spare.
Earlier in the morning, Mayank Agarwal’s decision to bat proved detrimental for Karnataka’s batters who yielded under overcast conditions.
The captain departed for a golden duck, shouldering arms on a delivery which seamed in and took the off stump with it. Samarth R was guilty of committing the same error against Sumit Kumar.
B.R. Sharath and S.J. Nikin Jose’s added 28 runs but their stay proved only a brief pause in Karnataka’s implosion. Jose was trapped leg-before by Sumit before Sharath handed a nick behind the stumps attempting a back-foot punch against Sindhu.
When Manish Pandey and Bhandage started to breathe life back into the innings, Chahal foxed the latter in flight and had him stumped.
Despite having a foot on Karnataka’s neck at 74 for eight, Haryana could not prevent its tail from wagging. Vyshak Vijaykumar (54, 61b, 4x4, 4x6), spurred on by his skirmish with Rahul Tewatia, ensured his team added 69 runs for the last two wickets.
Vyshak started with the pacers, pocketing a boundary each off Harshal Patel and Anshul Kamboj with a clip and pull, respectively.
But it was his down-the-ground hoist off Tewatia and a slog sweep off Nishant Sindhu which irked Tewatia and provoked him into an argument and needed the umpires’ intervention. But this only played into Vyshak’s hands, allowing him to pick another 10 runs from the leg spinner’s next over.
Vyshak was complemented by V. Koushik who dropped anchor to hold the fort at the other end. By the time Kamboj’s yorker bettered Vyshak, 41 runs had been accumulated by the pair.
Their effort sparked Karnataka to life. It’s defence was reinforced when Koushik made the most of the new ball to scalp Himanshu Rana and Ankit Kumar. Suchith added pressure with the wicket of Yuvraj Singh before Rohit and Sindhu took matters into their hands.
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