Karnataka clinch thriller amidst controversy

In a match marred by controversy, Karnataka clinched a thrilling two-run victory over Hyderabad in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (South Zone) cricket tournament at the ACA-VDCA stadium on Thursday.

R Vinay Kumar's men posted their second win in three games but the result arrived following plenty of drama and confusion.

Opener Karun Nair (77, 42b, 10x4, 1x6) and all-rounder K Gowtham (57, 31b, 4x4, 4x6) tore apart the Hyderabad attack to take Karnataka to a strong total of 205 for five in 20 overs.

In the second over of Karnataka's innings, Karun flicked pacer Mohammed Siraj and Mehdi Hasan stopped the ball at the boundary line. Videos clearly showed the fielder had stepped on the boundary rope but on-field umpires didn't verify with the third umpire and only two runs were awarded to Karnataka.

The Karnataka manager B Siddaramu and Vinay spoke to the match referee during the innings break and provided video evidence following which two runs were added to Karnataka's total.

Chasing 206, Hyderabad responded well with Akshath Reddy (70, 29b, 3x4, 7x6) taking the fight to the opponents. Experienced all-rounder Stuart Binny (3/29) bowled brilliantly and turned the match in Karnataka's favour. It was Binny who bowled the last over with Hyderabad needing eight runs with three wickets in hand. Ironically, Hyderabad fell short by two runs.

Despite Karnataka being declared winners, the Hyderabad team remained on the field and demanded a Super Over. Their captain Ambati Rayudu said the addition of two runs at the end of Karnataka's innings was against the rules of the game. The incident delayed the start of the next game between Andhra and Kerala and the match was eventually reduced to 13-overs a side.

"We reported the incident to the match referee and he did the needful. Whoever watched the match saw that the fielder had stepped on the rope so there is no confusion," said Siddaramu.

"Hyderabad were clear about the target before the start of the innings. So I don't understand why they brought up the issue only after they lost the game," said Karnataka coach P V Shashikanth.

Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 155/5 in 20 overs (Dinesh Karthik 56, Sanjay Yadav 28 n.o., Amogh Desai 3/22) bt Goa 130/7 in 20 overs (Sagun Kamat 41; M Ashwin 2/22, Washington Sundar 2/20).

Karnataka: 205/5 in 20 overs (Karun Nair 77, K Gowtham 57; Ravi Kiran 2/33) bt Hyderabad 203/9 in 20 overs (Akshath Reddy 70; Stuart Binny 3/29); Kerala: 120 all out in 12 overs (Vishnu Vinod 45, Sanju Samson 32; M Harishankar Reddy 4/2, Bandaru Ayyappa 3-32) lt to Andhra: 126/4 in 13 overs (Ashwin Hebbar 64, G H Vihari 25; Basil Thampi 2-35).

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