Punjab knock Karnataka out

Punjab knock Karnataka out

Punjab players celebrate the dismissal of a Karnataka batsman during the quarterfinal in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. TWITTER/BCCI

Karnataka's batting came a cropper once again as the defending champions suffered a humiliating nine-wicket defeat at the hands of Punjab in the quarterfinal to crash out of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

The first-ever game at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium -- the biggest cricket venue in the world with 1,10,000 capacity -- turned out to be a drab affair. Put into bat, Karnataka were bundled out for 87 with Aniruddha Joshi (27, 34b, 2x4) being the only batsman to have crossed the 20-run mark. 

Incidentally, the two men who fashioned Punjab's win over Karnataka in the Group stage, were the star performers in the last-eight encounter as well. Pacer Siddharth Kaul rocked the top-order to finish with 4-0-15-3 before Prabhsimran Singh hammered an unbeaten 37-ball 49 (2x4, 36) to help Punjab knock off the target with 41 balls to spare. 

The scorecard gives the impression of a stellar bowling show from Punjab. But the fact is the Karnataka players gift-wrapped their wickets courtesy of some horrendous batting. Captain Karun Nair (12) appeared clueless as he top-edged one to mid-off fielder Gurkeerat Singh while attempting a flick off Sandeep Sharma in the third over. Just two balls later, Kaul triggered Karnataka's collapse. 

Devdutt Padikkal (11), who made room to reach out to a short ball, didn't connect well and offered a catch to Gurkeerat again at mid-off. The Punjab all-rounder did well to rush forward and dive to pouch the catch. A ball later, another fielding brilliance put Punjab in command. 

Pavan Deshpande, coming in for Rohan Kadam, uppishly flicked a delivery off Kaul, and Mayank Markande jumped to his right to complete a fine catch. Soon, BR Sharath, replacing the struggling wicketkeeper-batsman Shrijith KL, edged one to first slip to hand Arshdeep Singh his first wicket of the game.  

The Punjab attack got the ball to move and maintained a disciplined line to keep the pressure on Karnataka. None of the batsmen, apart from Joshi, showed the requisite intent to forge a partnership and take the innings deep.

Even an inexperienced Ramandeep Singh, with no threatening pace or variations, troubled Karnataka. Shreyas Gopal poked one to the wicketkeeper without any foot movement to join the frustrated dug-out. The medium-pacer then had J Suchith caught down the leg side. Joshi, running out of partners, went for a slog sweep but saw his stumps rattled by a well-disguised googly off leggie Markande. 

The in-form Prabhsimran then made short work of the target to put Punjab in the semifinal, thereby ending Karnataka's campaign marred by poor batting.  

SCORE BOARD 

KARNATAKA: Devdutt Padikkal c Gurkeerat b Kaul 11 (10b, 2x4), Karun Nair c Gurkeerat b Sandeep 12 (9b, 2x4), BR Sharath c Abhishek b Arshdeep 2 (3b), Pavan Deshpande c Markande b Kaul 0 (2b), Aniruddha b Markande 27 (34b, 2x4), Shreyas Gopal c Prabhsimran b Ramandeep 13 (11b, 2x4), J Suchith c Prabhsimran b Ramandeep 8 (10b, 1x4), Pravin Dubey b Arshdeep 9 (9b), A Mithun c & b Kaul 2 (8b), V Koushik (not out) 0, Prasidh Krishna c & b Sandeep 1 (5b). Extras (W-2) 2. Total (all out, 17.2 overs) 87. 

Fall of wickets: 1-24 (Nair), 2-26 (Padikkal), 3-26 (Deshpande), 4-26 (Sharath), 5-51 (Shreyas), 6-72 (Suchith), 7-84 (Aniruddha), 8-86 (Dubey), 9-86 (Mithun). 

Bowling: Sandeep Sharma 2.2-0-17-2, Arshdeep Singh 3-0-16-2, Siddharth Kaul 4-0-15-3, Harpreet Brar 1-0-5-0, Ramandeep Singh 4-0-22-2, Mayank Markande 3-0-12-1. 

PUNJAB: Abhishek Sharma c Padikkal b Mithun 4 (6b, 1x4), Prabhsimran Singh (not out) 49 (37b, 2x4, 3x6), Mandeep Singh (not out) 35 (33b, 4x4, 1x6). Extra (LB-1) 1. Total (1 wkt, 12.4 overs) 89. 

Bowling: A Mithun 2-0-11-1, Prasidh Krishna 3-0-22-0, V Koushik 2-0-17-0, Shreyas Gopal 2.4-0-17-0, Pravin Dubey 1-0-9-0, J Suchith 2-0-12-0. 

Result: Punjab won by nine wickets.