Rahane, Iyer blitz sink Karnataka

Mumbai's Ajinkya Rahane plays a reverse hit during his century against Karnataka in the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru on Friday. DH Photo/ Srikanta Sharma R

Karnataka were buried under an avalanche of runs as they suffered an 88-run defeat to Mumbai in their Vijay Hazare Trophy game here at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Friday.  

Mumbai’s top three – Prithvi Shaw (60, 53b, 8x4, 1x6), Ajinkya Rahane 148 (150b, 13x4, 3x6) and Shreyas Iyer 110 (82b, 5x4, 8x6) – tore apart the Karnataka bowling to post a massive 362 for five after they were sent into bat.

Karnataka needed a strong foundation to their chase but barring a 68-run stand between Mayank Agarwal (66, 48b, 6x4, 3x6) and Karun Nair (31), the hosts were never really in control, folding up for 274 in 45 overs.

Their second straight defeat has put the defending champions in real pressure. Karnataka should be mindful of the new format in which teams progress to the knockouts based on points earned. R Vinay Kumar’s men, who next face Goa on Monday at the Just Cricket ground, cannot afford another slip-up.

Karnataka have not really fought as a team so far. Their batting let them down against Maharashtra on Thursday. Against Mumbai, their bowling and fielding lacked discipline. While the young Prasidh Krishna (0/59) has remained ineffective in the two games, the senior duo of Vinay (1/76) and Abhimanyu Mithun (1/81) were expensive, especially in the final ten overs.

Vinay and Mithun, with no real pace to silence the batsmen, lacked variations and failed to bowl the right length. Iyer and Rahane feasted on the loose balls to hammer the pacers across the park. Karnataka’s woes increased when Pavan Deshpande, after having let three boundaries with his shoddy fielding, dropped a catch off Suryakumar Yadav.

Vinay’s decision to bowl first proved costly as the talented Prithvi showed his class early on. Prithvi set the tone of Mumbai’s innings with some delightful drives. The free-flowing batsman raced to a 41-ball fifty and his front foot pull off Mithun, which sent the ball to the stands, was one of the highlights of his innings.

Rahane didn’t take a single risk but never failed to latch on to the poor balls. Apart from some classy shots to the fence, the right-hander rotated the strike brilliantly, exhibiting his immense experience. Shreyas, though, was the one who demoralised the attack and propelled Mumbai past 350. After a sedate start, he showed great urgency. He made room for the pacers and carted them over their heads. The 23-year-old’s brutal show towards the end made the difference.

 

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