Karnataka storm into final with facile win

Karnataka storm into final with facile win

Agarwal, Nair make short work of Maharashtra's modest total

Karnataka storm into final with facile win

Mayank Agarwal made a decent Maharashtra attack look pedestrian as he powered Karnataka into the final as the former champions scored a comfortable nine-wicket victory in the Vijay Hazare Trophy semifinal, here on Saturday.

Maharashtra's batting collapsed on a day when it mattered the most. On a good batting track, Maharashtra managed a paltry 160 in 44.3 overs. The target was never going to be a big ask for a quality batting line-up as openers Agarwal (81 off 86 balls) and skipper Karun Nair (70 off 90 balls) made merry with no pressure of scoreboard, achieving the target in only 30.3 overs.

In sublime form throughout the season, the cover-drives and on-drives flowed off Agarwal's bat as he has now become the highest ever run-getter in a single edition of the National One Day meet with 633 runs. Saturday's knock had eight boundaries and a six.

Anupam Sanklecha, Pradeep Dadhe and Shrikant Mundhe didn't have the pace to bother the two openers and repeated half volleys only made it easy. While Agarwal was off the blocks faster, Karun started matching him stroke for stroke once spinners were introduced into the attack.

Karun lofted off-spinner Prashant Kore for a boundary and then swept him for a boundary in the 17th over. Agarwal completed his half-century and 600 runs in the tournament with another cover drive off left-arm seamer Divyang Himganekar. A late cut off left-arm spinner Satyajeet Bachhav was a treat. Meanwhile his skipper tapped for a single to complete his half-century as they cruised to the target.

Earlier, Mundhe (50, 77 balls) again played a good hand but none of the other batsmen could put up a fight.

Seamer M Prasidh Krishna (2/26 in 7.3 overs) and offie K Gowtham (3/26 in 10 overs) were the wreckers-in-chief.  

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