Cricket Subbaiah Pillai Trophy

Karnataka notch facile win over Kerala

Medium pacer HS Sharath complemented the efforts of batsmen with a fine spell as Karnataka scored a facile 52-run win over Kerala in the South Zone inter-state limited-overs cricket tournament for the KS Subbaiah Pillai Trophy at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Vasco on Friday.

Asked to bat first, Karnataka raced to 322 for five in 50 overs with KL Rahul (86), Robin Uthappa (54) and skipper Stuart Binny (60) notching up fifties. Sharath then scalped four wickets (4/40) as Karnataka restricted Kerala to 270 for six for their second win in as many days.

Karnataka had defeated Goa on Thursday.

Uthappa, who tore apart the Goan attack with a fiery 118-ball 169 the previous day, opted for a more solid approach and he found a perfect foil in Rahul. The openers’ solidity meant Karnataka progressed at a healthy run-rate, staying above five for a better part of their partnership, and reached 112 in the 21st over before Uthappa fell to the medium pace of VA Jagadeesh.

Manish Pandey (25) and Rahul collected runs with ease, but just when the alliance seemed to blossoming into something substantial, both Rahul and Pandey were dismissed by pacer P Prashanth in the space of three runs.

Karnataka strengthened their position through Binny and Ganesh Satish (40), while Karun Nair (46 n.o, 19b, 2x4, 4x6) provided the late impetus with a cameo.
Chasing 323 became all the more difficult for Kerala as Sharath removed Sanju Viswa­nadh, Rohan Prem and Jadeesh as they slumped to 32 for three. There were fifties by Robert Fernandez (55), Sachin Baby (61), but in the end they were just pieces of token resistance.

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