TN halt Karnataka successful's run

TN halt Karnataka successful's run

Badrinath’s men post crushing seven-wicket victory to clinch Subbaiah Pillai Trophy.

Batting fragility haunted Karnataka at the most inopportune time, triggering a seven-wicket defeat against Tamil Nadu on Wednesday here at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.
The result helped Tamil Nadu earn four points from the match to swell their tally to 18 points, and they also regained the KS Subbaiah Pillai Trophy instituted for the South Zone one-day champions. The result was a forgone conclusion once Tamil Nadu bowlers produced a clinical effort to restrict defending champions Karnataka to 168 all out with almost 10 overs to spare.

However, home skipper R Vinay Kumar’s two-wicket burst that reduced TN to nine for two created an air of excitement around the match. But Sushil Umashankar (73) and skipper Subramaniam Badrinath (81 n.o.) added 144 runs for a solid third-wicket stand to ensure their team a facile win. TN made 169 for three in 38.5 overs.
But the genesis of Karnataka defeat was in their inept batting that was brought to light by a fine little spell by pacer L Balaji after Karnataka got off to a brisk start, courtesy Robin Uthappa and Mayank Agarwal, who was the first to depart for 16.

However, Karnataka appeared set for a big total with Uthappa and KL Rahul resisting the TN bowlers with ease. Left-arm spinner Rahil Shah snapped the alliance worth 31 runs, dismissing Uthappa. Balaji, who bowled a wayward first spell (4-1-26-0), made a re-entry at that juncture.

At 84 for two in the 18th over, Karnataka were in no danger but Balaji changed the course of the match in the span of 12 deliveries. The right-arm pacer found a thick edge of Rahul’s bat, putting stumper Sushil in business and soon had Pandey too caught behind.

In-form Karun Nair had little idea about a delivery that came back off the seam and crashed on to the woodwork. Suddenly, the home side found themselves at a wobbly 90 for five, and from that point it has always been an uphill climb for them.
To add to their woes, wicketkeeper batsman CM Gautam, who made 17, limped off the field after his knee got hurt while diving for a single. Gautam didn’t return to the field as Uthappa and Rahul shared the wicketkeeping duties during Tamil Nadu’s innings.

Tamil Nadu got off the block nervously, losing M Vijay, who had made three successive fifties in this tournament, and Baba Aparajith cheaply. Vinay, who has been the bowling bulwark of Karnataka throughout the event, trapped Vijay plumb in front off the very first ball, and Aparajith’s attempt to flick Vinay resulted only in a leg-side catch to Uthappa behind the wickets.

Karnataka indeed had a good chance to make further inroads at that stage, but Badrinath and Sushil repelled the hosts’ bowlers showing great presence of mind. Both the batsmen had not made any substantial score in the tournament but they made runs when it mattered most.

Once they survived a torrid phase against Vinay, both the batsmen began to play with lot more freedom as other Karnataka bowlers failed to maintain pressure. Sushil was the aggressor among the two, exhibiting a good range of strokes and his lofted drive over extra cover off left-arm spinner Abrar Kazi stood out for its timing and placement.

Once set, Badrinath too displayed his repertoire occasionally and his late cut off Amit Verma was a treat to watch. Kazi eventually jettisoned Sushil, trapping him in front but by then Tamil Nadu were almost home.

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