Reckless Karnataka bow to disciplined Hyderabad

B Sandeep (third from right) celebrates with teammates after picking up a wicket in Hyderabad's 21-run win over Karnataka in Alur on Tuesday. PUSHKAR V/ DH PHOTO

A slapdash batting effort from Karnataka saw them suffer a 21-run defeat while chasing a gettable 199 runs against Hyderabad in their Group A Vijay Hazare Trophy here at the Alur 1 ground on Tuesday.

Skipper Manish Pandey’s decision to bowl first seemed validated when Karnataka restricted their opponents to 198/9 with a combined bowling effort. Old Warhorse Ambati Rayudu (87, 111b, 4x4, 3x6) waged a lone battle. A blow on his right elbow from Prasidh Krishna’s delivery forced the right-hander to retire but Rayudu had done enough to give his bowlers something to fight for.

In response, a horrific start and a below-par show from their inexperienced lower-order, sent Karnataka crashing to their first defeat of the tournament. Opener Devdutt Padikkal (60, 104b, 6x4) showed the resolve to grind it out under pressure. But besides him and Pandey (48, 54b, 5x4, 2x6), no other Karnataka batsman applied themselves as the three-time champions were skittled out for 177 with 28 balls to spare.

B Sandeep stole the show during Hyderabad’s defence with an outstanding performance. The 27-year-old picked up 4/35 with his left-arm spin, including the wickets of Pandey and Padikkal, inflicted a run-out and took a stunning catch in the deep.

“It wasn’t an easy wicket to bat on. We kept it tight and put pressure on them. The odd ball was turning. They (Karnataka) didn’t have depth in their batting. So they didn’t know whether to go for it or not,” Sandeep told reporters in a post-match interaction.

Karnataka, eight points from three games, next face the in-form Chhattisgarh on Wednesday at the M Chinnaswamy stadium. Against a side that stunned Mumbai by pulling off a 318-run chase, Karnataka can’t afford another shoddy outing. The first three games have proven that batting is Karnataka’s biggest concern. Not only has their top order failed to get starts, their lower-order hasn't left much to write home about either. 

KL Rahul (4), after a cracking cut for four off the first ball of the innings, hit the next one straight to cover to give Mohammed Siraj (2/38) his first wicket. Karun Nair, playing his first game of the tournament, slashed hard at a ball only to be caught at first slip. Impatience from the duo had given Hyderabad a great start. The visitors missed a great opportunity to put massive pressure on Karnataka when Siraj put down a caught and bowled chance offered by Pandey in the third over of the innings.

When Sandeep broke the 85-run third-wicket stand between Padikkal and Pandey by having the latter caught behind, Karnataka’s batting depth was put to test. Shreyas Gopal (1) was unfortunate to depart run out while backing up. BR Sharath (18), following a couple of lusty fours, was castled while cutting a short ball off left-arm spinner Mehdi Hassan. Poor shot-selection from the Karnataka line-up didn’t end there. Praveen Dubey (7) was bowled attempting a slog sweep off off-spinner Rohit Rayudu while K Gowtham (5), who played the wrong line, saw his bails rattled by Sandeep.

The naturally aggressive Padikkal showed maturity to play a subdued knock but once he was caught at short third man, Karnataka’s chances were virtually over. A Mithun (20) took the chase close with some big hits. However, Hyderabad sealed victory when Sandeep pouched a brilliant diving catch running to his right from long to send back Mithun.

Brief scores: Other Matches: Group A in Bengaluru: Saurashtra: 245/9 in 50 overs (Sheldon Jackson 35, Samarth Vyas 39, Vishvarajsinh Jadeja 25, AV Vasavada 59, Chirag Jani 40; Shardul Thakur 3-36, SZ Mulani 3-49) lt to Mumbai: 248/5 in 48 overs (Aditya Tare Shreyas 73, Suryakumar Yadav 85 not out, Shubham Ranjane 45 not out; KD Patel 2-33, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 2-39).

Group B in Vadodara: Maharashtra vs Uttar Pradesh, Baroda vs Odisha, Delhi vs Vidarbha. All three games abandoned due to rain.

Group C in Jaipur: Rajasthan: 102 all out in 40.1 overs (Manender Singh 35; Rush Kalaria 3-15, Arzan Nagwaswalla 3-30, Piyush Chawla 2-19) lt to Gujarat: 103/3 in 25.3 overs (Priyank Panchal 32, Dhruv Raval 34 n.o.).

Railways: 251/6 in 50 overs (Pratham Singh 44, Arindam Ghosh 79, Vikrant Singh 41, Karn Sharma 44; Varun Choudhary 3-58) lt to Services: 252/5 in 48.5 overs (Nakul Verma 108, Rahul Singh Gahlaut 43, Rajat Paliwal 56; Vikrant Singh 2-47).

Tamil Nadu: 286/7 in 50 overs (Baba Aparajith 34, Vijay Shankar 41, Dinesh Karthik 97, Shahrukh Khan 69; Ashoke Dinda 2-60, Akashdeep 2-64) bt Bengal: 212 all out in 45.3 overs (Anustup Majumdar 36, Shahbaz 107; Baba Aparajith 2-43, K Vignesh 2-26, T Natarajan 2-33, M Ashwin 2-61).

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