Karnataka romp to 80-run win over Kerala in Vijay Hazare Trophy quarter-final 

Devdutt Padikkal scored another Vijay Hazare Trophy century
Devdutt Padikkal scored another Vijay Hazare Trophy century
Wasiq Agha

Karnataka didn’t break a sweat in their Vijay Hazare Trophy quarter-final against Kerala, beating their southern rivals by 80 runs.

Ravikumar Samarth and Devdutt Padikkal’s brilliant centuries and their 249-run partnership set them up perfectly and they put up a mammoth total on the board. Ronit More’s fifer was the highlight of the second innings, with a resurgence in the middle overs not enough for Kerala to get over the line. They were ultimately bundled out under 44 overs to exit the tournament.

Brief scores: Karnataka 338/3 ( Ravikumar Samarth 192, Devdutt Padikkal 101; Basil NP 3/57) beat Kerala 258 all out (Vathsal Govind 92, Mohammed Azharuddeen 52; Ronit More 5/36, Shreyas Gopal 2/64) by 80 runs

After putting up a massive total on board, Karnataka started the second innings in impressive fashion. They took three wickets inside the first 12 overs, with Ronit More sending back Robin Uthappa and Rohan S Kunnummal for cheap.

With the top order failing, it was up to Kerala’s middle order to restore Kerala's hopes. Vathsal Govind and skipper Sachin Baby took the initiative, not letting Kerala fall too far behind the eight-ball in this Vijay Hazare Trophy knockout clash.

Vathsal got to his 50 in 62 balls but lost his skipper after IPL 2021 auction hero Krishnappa Gowtham sent him packing. With the duo’s 59 run stand broken, it was time for Mohammed Azharuddeen to support Vathsal as they went about the chase.

Both batsmen played brilliantly in what was Kerala’s strongest period of play in this Vijay Hazare Trophy quarter-final. Azharuddeen played the aggressor’s role, getting to his half-century in just 30 balls.

Kerala got 90 odd in under ten overs with Vathsal and Azharuddeen at the crease. But just when it looked like we were in for a classic, the wicket-keeper perished to a piece of brilliance from BR Sharath, getting stumped off Shreyas Gopal.

His departure against the run of play handed the impetus back to Karnataka, who got three more wickets in the next five overs. Ronit More came back to dismiss Vathsal for 92, and he sent Basil Thampi back as well.

Jalaj Saxena kept Kerala’s hopes alive with some lusty blows, but Ronit More capped off a fine performance with a five-wicket haul. Saxena’s efforts came up short in the end, with BR Sharath completing his second stumping of the day to bowl out Kerala in this crucial Vijay Hazare Trophy game.

Opening masterclass the highlight of Vijay Hazare Trophy quarter-final

Earlier, put into bat, Karnataka made full use of the hard wicket, scoring 338/3 in their 50 overs. The bulk of the scoring was done by their star openers, with skipper Ravikumar Samarth leading from the front with a brilliant 192.

The opener was in sublime touch all innings and kept the pressure on the Kerala bowlers. His aggressive start allowed Devdutt Padikkal to settle in early on, as Ravikumar Samarth hit 22 fours and three sixes. He agonizingly fell short of a memorable double century, perishing for the team's cause by getting stumped off NP Basil’s bowling in the penultimate over.

Devdutt Padikkal had a century of his own to celebrate, with the young gun scoring his fourth consecutive List A hundred on Monday. Padikkal started slowly, scoring at a strike rate of less than 70 in the first 20 overs. But he kicked on soon after, and matched his skipper blow for blow and ending the innings with a well-made 101 off 119 balls.

The duo’s 249-run stand came at a good pace and set them up perfectly for a late flourish. They were supported by Manish Pandey in this Vijay Hazare Trophy quarter-final, with the batsman scoring a quick-fire 34* to help Karnataka go past 330.

There wasn’t much to celebrate for Kerala’s bowlers, who struggled to make inroads all innings. Jalaj Saxena was economical with the ball but didn’t get any wickets in the game. NP Basil was the pick of the bowlers but was expensive with figures of 8-0-57-3.

Fast bowlers Sreesanth and Basil Thampi failed to pick up wickets early on and were expensive at the death, while the part-timers Sachin Baby and Vishnu Vinod didn’t make any inroads as well.

Edited by S Chowdhury


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