Karnataka smother Jharkhand

Karnataka smother Jharkhand

Devdutt Padikkal's 30-ball 63 powered Karnataka to a strong total against Jharkhand. DH FILE PHOTO

Devdutt Padikkal’s unrelenting assault proved too much for Jharkhand to handle as the defending champions notched a nervy 13-run win in their Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy Super League tie in Surat on Friday. 

Put into bat with the potential for an easier surface to chase on, Karnataka were handed the challenge and they rose to it in superb style, blasting 189/6 in 20 overs with Padikkal cracking 63 from 30 balls with seven fours and four sixes. Such was Padikkal’s, and KL Rahul’s in part, dominance that even a faltering middle order couldn’t stop them from notching a big total. 

Jharkhand’s response was one that sent a shiver down Karnataka’s spine as it came down to 24 runs needed in the final over. Virat Singh, the man in command of the chase, struck a six off V Kouhshik’s (1/42) opening delivery but he couldn’t do much through the remaining five deliveries as the young bowler showed proper composure at the death. 

Eventually, Virat finished his essay unbeaten on 76 from 44 balls, and Jharkhand settled for 176/5 in 20 overs. This was Jharkhand’s second loss in the Super League after they suffered a humiliating 109-run loss on Thursday. 

Karnataka, on the contrary, were coming into this contest on the back of a rousing win over Tamil Nadu, a win made to look easy because of their batting line-up. And again, they were in the forefront with Padikkal leading the way.

Coming into this contest with a string of big scores, including a century and a couple of half-centuries, Padikkal was expected to get off the blocks in quick time. He showed shades of the 36 he bludgeoned against Tamil Nadu on Thursday, but did one better in smacking a quick-fire half-century. He is the current top-scorer in the competition with 402 runs from eight innings. 

While Padikkal essayed the pulls and the cuts, Rahul played the pace of the ball in guiding the side and the partnership to 114 in 9.3 overs. Padikkal’s fall brought in Manish Pandey, but the skipper didn’t stick around for long, and neither did Rahul. Jharkhand had their hands in the game at last but they had let-slip far too much ground to restrict them now. 

To their credit, they kept them down to under 200 runs. In response, Jharkhand got the thrust they needed in Anand’s innings at the top, but they needed more in pursuit of the big total. Virat was about to give them just that. The left-hander gave it the good heave-ho through much of what was sent down and it so happened to come off the middle of the bat almost every time. Even his mishits averted fielders, much to Pandey’s chagrin.

In the end, though, a tight penultimate over from Ronit More and Koushik’s nervy but controlled final over gave Karnataka the win. Pandey’s men next play Punjab on Sunday. 

Elsewhere, Tamil Nadu’s left-arm spin duo of R Sai Kishore and debutant M Siddharth spun a web around Mumbai to guide their team to a seven-wicket victory.

Siddarth (4/16) and Sai Kishore (3/18) ran through Mumbai’s top and middle order to restrict them to a sub-par 121 for 9 in the allotted 20 overs.

Later, southpaw C Hari Nishaanth hammered 73 not out from 44 balls and added 73 runs with all-rounder Vijay Shankar (27 n.o.) to see Tamil Nadu to 122/3.

Brief scores: Karnataka: 189/6 in 20 overs (KL Rahul 36, Devdutt Padikkal 63; Monu Singh 2-29) bt Jharkhand: 176/5 in 20 overs (Anand Singh 41, Virat Singh 76; Pavan Deshpande 2-34). 

Mumbai: 121/9 in 20 overs (Shams Mulani 73, Prithvi Shaw 30; Siddarth 4-16, Sai Kishore 3-18) lt to Tamil Nadu: 122/3 in 13.5 overs (C Hari Nishaanth 73 n.o., Vijay Shankar 27 n.o.; Shams Mulani 3-26).

Rajasthan: 123/7 in 20 overs (Ankit Lamba 38, Chandra Singh 25 n.o.; Rahul Tewatia 3-18) lt to Haryana: 124/6 (Harshal Patel 41; Chandra Singh 2-16).

Baroda: 151/6 (Aditya Waghmode 36, Deepak Hooda 26; Nitish Rana 2-22) bt Delhi: 150/9 (Kunwar Bidhuri 68; Babasafi Pathan 3-24).

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