It keeps getting tougher for Karnataka

Karnataka’s chances of making it to the quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy are getting bleaker by the day.

Published: 27th September 2018 01:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th September 2018 12:12 PM   |  A+A-

Baroda opener Kedar Devdhar scored 123 against Karnataka in their Vijay Hazare Trophy match in Bengaluru on Wednesday | SHRIRAM BN

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  Karnataka’s chances of making it to the quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy are getting bleaker by the day. The latest blow came on Wednesday, in the form of a seven-wicket loss to Baroda. With just two points from four matches, they have to hope for something extraordinary in the remaining matches to make it to the knockouts.

Despite a splendid century by Ravikumar Samarth, the home team failed to register its first win. Baroda opener Kedar Devdhar played a fine knock of 123 to help his team move up to fifth on the Elite Group A table, two spots above Karnataka. With the top five teams from Group A and B set to qualify for the quarterfinals, Karnataka are lagging way behind. The story of the defending champions this year has been the same, where they have failed to click as a unit.

The top players have failed to take responsibility. Despite possessing brilliant batsmen such as Mayank Agarwal, Samarth, Karun Nair among others, Karnataka have tallied just 607 runs from three matches (one washed out).

The attack has not been too impressive either. Strike bowlers like K Gowtham and Vinay Kumar have taken only four and three wickets in the competition so far. Centurion Samarth felt they were outplayed on Wednesday. He believes small things may not be working for them, leading to the losses. After Karnataka were all out for a paltry 237, the bowlers looked helpless against Baroda’s batsmen. “I think we were outplayed by Baroda in all departments of the game.

Everyone (in the team) has played lot of cricket, like for India A (also the KPL). It is just that in some situations, which we are losing by may be dropping a catch, something is going wrong. I think we will come back strong,” said Samarth. On Wednesday, the body language of the Karnataka players did not look good once Devdhar began to dominate. Their heads dropped rather too quickly. The right-hander took singles at will and put the loose balls away.

With skipper Deepak Hooda, Devdhar took the game away with their 125-run partnership. Karnataka bowlers failed to make a breakthrough. There are four games remaining in the round robin stage and Samarth just wants to take it one game at a time. “We are not thinking about that (the knockout stages). We are taking it game by game and plan to win all the remaining games of the competition,” concluded the batsman. ashimsunam@newindianexpress.com

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