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Vijay Hazare Trophy 2018: Karnataka pip Saurashtra for third title

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1.51K   //    27 Feb 2018, 17:26 IST

Mayank Agarwal's 90 from 79 balls helped Karnataka post 253 in the final following a shaky start

Brief Scores: Karnataka 253 in 45.5 overs (Agarwal 90, Deshpande 49; Makvana 4/34) beat Saurashtra 212 (Pujara 94; Gowtham 3/27, Krishna 3/37) by 41 runs

Mayank Agarwal played yet another rapid knock for Karnataka, as his side lifted their third Vijay Hazare Trophy title after beating Saurashtra by 41 runs in the final at Delhi. Agarwal hammered 90 off 79 balls – the innings included 11 fours and 3 sixes – and shared a 136-run third wicket partnership with Ravikumar Samarth after both captain Karun Nair and KL Rahul were sent back for a duck.

Samarth played his part with a composed 48 before falling in the over just after Agarwal was caught at long-off off Dharmendrasinh Jadeja. Soon after, Stuart Binny also departed cheaply to leave Karnataka five down at 167; but Pavan Deshpande and Shreyas Gopal steadied the ship with a 41-run stand before Kamlesh Makvana interfered with his off-spin. The 34-year-old cleaned up the tail and got rid of Deshpande for 49 to end with 4/34 as Karnataka were restricted to 253.

Saurashtra faltered in the chase with Prasidh Krishna reducing them to 15/2. Avi Barot and captain Cheteshwar Pujara then joined hands to add 62, but though the stand brought Saurashtra back, it was too slow to make an impact in the reply. Ravindra Jadeja also batted at the same pace with 15 from 38 balls; but what hurt their cause most was the inability of Pujara to pick up pace despite having nothing to lose after continuing to run out of partners at the other end.

It was too late by the time Pujara accelerated – he got to 52 from 99 deliveries before finally being dismissed for 94 from 127 – as Krishnappa Gowtham bagged three wickets with all three batsmen leaving for no score. Pujara's ninth-wicket partnership of 65 with Makvana gave Saurashtra a glimmer of a hope, but once the former was run out, Karnataka's win was all but confirmed.

Saurashtra were bowled out for 212, as Karnataka qualified for the Deodhar Trophy, which will include India A and India B as the other teams.

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A childhood cricket enthusiast, my earliest cricket memory goes back to the 2003 World Cup, when I was 7. With a hobby of cricket commentary and writing from my early days, I earned an invitation for employment by aged only 20, and have also had the opportunity to interact with the great analyst Harsha Bhogle.
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