Tamil Nadu came up with a superb all-round performance to crush Karnataka by 151 runs to progress to the semifinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy domestic 50-over tournament in Jaipur on Tuesday. (More Cricket News)
Sent in to bat by Karnataka captain Manish Pandey, Tamil Nadu first amassed 354/8 in 50 overs and then dismissed the opposition for 203 inside 40 overs for a massive victory with medium-pacer R Silambarasan picking up four wickets to hasten the slide.
Opener N Jagadeesan hammered 102 (101 balls, 9x4s, 1x6) and left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore, pushed up the order to go after the bowling, smacked 61 (71 balls, 4x4s, 3x6s) before the burly Shahrukh Khan bludgeoned an unbeaten 39-ball 79 (7x4, 6x6) to help Tamil Nadu pile up 350-plus score.
That the last four overs yielded 64 runs was an indication of the aggressive mood Shahrukh Khan was in as the Karnataka bowlers bore the brunt in the death overs.
Shahrukh Khan, who has often been underlining his hitting skills and starred in the Tamil Nadu’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy triumph with a last-ball six in the final against the same opponent, toyed with the opposition bowling and took 23 runs off the 48th over bowled by Prasidh Krishna.
The fact that R Silambarasan scored only one run in a ninth-wicket partnership of 64 with Shahrukh Khan indicated the kind of form the latter was in. The stand took the team to an imposing total which at one point of time did not look a possibility.
Jagadeesan and Sai Kishore gave the impetus to the Tamil Nadu innings with a superb 147-run partnership for the second wicket which left the Karnataka bowlers searching for answers.
Dinesh Karthik (44, 37 balls, 4x4s, 2x6s) and Baba Indrajith (31, 24 balls, 3x4s) too came up with crucial contributions before Shahrukh Khan took over the onus with his pyrotechnics.
However, skipper Vijay Shankar (3) and Washington Sundar (0) could not make an impact. Leg-spinner Praveen Dubey finished with 3 for 67 and Prasidh Krishna took 2/57 though he proved expensive towards the end. None of the other Karnataka bowlers could contain the opposition batters.
Chasing a mammoth 355 for a spot in the semifinal, Karnataka began on the wrong foot with the talented Devdutt Padikkal falling for a duck to Sandeep Warrier. Rohan Kadam and (24) and K V Siddharth (29) steadied the Karnataka innings after the opening blow but, with the asking rate mounting, the former fell to a nice return catch by Silambarasan (4/36).
Siddharth fell attempting a big hit off the bowling of Sai Kishore (1/32), taken by Shahrukh in the deep to leave Karnataka at 69/3. A lot depended on the experienced Manish Pandey if Karnataka had to put up a fight but he fell to M Siddharth for 9 as the team slipped to 74/4.
Though wicket-keeper S Sharath (43), Abhinav Manohar (34) and Praveen Dubey (26) battled well, Karnataka was always fighting a losing battle from thereon. Silambarasan and Washington Sundar (3/43) made sure that the lower-order did not carry on the fight for too long and picked up wickets at regular intervals to end the Karnataka challenge at 203 in 39 overs.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 354/8 in 50 overs (N Jagadeesan 102, Shahrukh Khan 79 not out, R Sai Kishore 61, Praveen Dubey 3/67) beat Karnataka 203 all out in 39 overs (S Sharath 43; R Silambarasan 4/36, Washington Sundar 3/43) by 151 runs.