Karnataka target outright victory

Karnataka target outright victory

HERE I COME!: Off-spinning all-rounder K Gowtham, who fashioned Karnataka's win over Railways in the previous game, will be looking to produce another strong show against Chhattisgarh. DH PHOTO/ SK DINESH

After bagging a crucial victory against Railways in Shivamogga in their previous game, Karnataka will be eyeing another outright win when they face Chhattisgarh in their penultimate Group ‘A’ match here at the Alur ground from Sunday. 

Karnataka, who will be led by Manish Pandey, are fourth on the combined (A & B) group table with 21 points from six games. Saurashtra are table toppers with 26 points from seven games. Karnataka should fancy themselves to collect full points against a comparatively weaker opponent. A win will further strengthen their chances of a quarterfinal berth. Only top five teams combined from Group A and B advance to the knockout. 

Pandey said Karnataka won’t be taking Chhattisgarh lightly. “We don’t want to be complacent. We won against Railways on a surface that wasn’t great for either batsmen or bowlers. We take a lot of confidence from that victory. K Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal were outstanding,” said Pandey.  Chhattisgarh are placed right at the bottom, with six points from six games. 

While the injured Karun Nair is yet to recover, Karnataka were dealt with another blow against Railways last week. Seasoned opener R Samarth injured his finger while successfully taking a catch off Abhimanyu Mithun’s bowling and the 26-year-old won’t be featuring against Chhattisgarh.

Liyan Khan was named Samarth’s replacement.

It remains to be seen if old warhorse R Vinay Kumar, who sat out against Railways due to a sore knee, will be back to lead the pace attack.