BENGALURU: Karnataka came up with one of their best all-round shows in the prequarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, defeating Rajasthan by eight wickets at the KL Saini Stadium in Jaipur on Sunday.
If pacer Vijaykumar Vyshak, who was playing his first game in the competition, scalped four big wickets, Ravikumar Samarth, Manish Pandey and KV Siddharth cruised to half-centuries to help them set up a mouth-watering clash with Tamil Nadu in the last eight contest, scheduled for Tuesday.
It was a good toss to win for Karnataka, who opted to field first and also made a big change with Abhinav Manohar replacing Karun Nair. Karnataka key speedster Prasidh Krishna, who missed the earlier group matches due to international commitments, dismissed Abhijeet Tomar to give them an early breakthrough. But the major damage was done by Vyshak, who sparkled with the new ball, taking four wickets in his first four overs. With Rajasthan reeling on 19/5, one wondered if they would even cross the 100-run mark.
They needed someone to come up with a special knock, and that is when skipper Deepak Hooda stood up to be counted. The right-hander led from the front, and tried to steady the ship with a 118-run partnership with SV Joshi. In fact it looked like Hooda was batting in some other surface as he came up with a dominating display, hitting nine fours and five sixes en route to his 109-ball 100. They were eventually dismissed for 199 in the 42nd over.
Karnataka lost Devdutt Padikkal early on during the chase, which might have given Rajasthan a ray of hope, but that was the only bright spot for them in the second innings. In form Samarth and Siddharth looked in absolute control and with a modest target, they were always in the driver’s seat. Samarth completed his third half-century of the competition before putting his team on track for a win.
With 100 runs to win after his dismissal, Pandey was going on at an almost run a ball and remained not out for 53-ball 52 while Siddharth was unbeaten on 85. With such a convincing win, they have sent a strong statement to their quarterfinal opponent, Tamil Nadu too.
Brief scores: Rajasthan 199 in 41.4 ovs (Deepak Jagbir Hooda 109, Vijaykumar Vyshak 4/22) lost to Karnataka 204/2 in 43.3 ovs ( (KV Siddharth 85 n.o, R Samarth 54, Manish Pandey 52 n.o).