Unstoppable Mayank shines again, Karnataka steers into the finals of Vijay Hazare
New Delhi: Karnataka opener Mayank Agarwal continued his terrific run with the bat as he guided Karnataka to a comfortable nine-wicket victory over Maharashtra in the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Saturday. With the victory Karnataka also steered into the finals of the tournament and will now face winners of the match between Saurashtra and Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday.
After winning the toss Maharashtra elected to bat first. On the day when it mattered the most Maharashtra suffered a batting collapse. The batting order crumbled like a pack of cards and on a good batting track, the team got bundled out for a paltry 160. Apart from opener Shrikant Mundhe (50) and Naushad Shaikh (42) no Maharashtra batsmen were able to cross 20-run mark. Six of the batsmen got dismissed in single figures. Loosing wickets at crucial junctures and with no decent partnership, the team got wrapped up in 44.3 overs. For Karnataka, it was a joint effort with the ball. Off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham bowled a brilliant spell picking up 3 wickets while giving mere away 26 runs. Pacer Prasidh Krishna grabbed 2 wickets while T Pradeep, Ronit More and Shreyas Gopal bagged a wicket each.
Chasing a puny total, Mayank Agarwal and skipper Karun Nair made a decent Maharashtra attack look pedestrian. Agarwal continued his terrific run with the bat and smashed 81 off 86 balls which included eight boundaries and a six. Nair on the other played a sensible 70 off 90 balls and ensured teams victory in the 31st over of the innings.
Mayank Agarwal who has had a phenomenal season yet again proved his mettle as he struck Maharashtra bowler all over the park. After scoring 1160 runs at a mind-boggling average of 105.45 with five centuries in the Ranji Trophy, Mayank so far has piled up 633 runs in the limited-over tournament with 3 tons to his name. Yet again in the finals, the responsibility will be on the shoulders of the prolific right-hander to guide team to victory in the season ender clash.
Maharashtra 160 in 44.3 overs (Shrikant Mundhe 50, Krishnappa Gowtham 3/26)
Karnataka 164/1 in 30.3 overs (Mayank Agarwal 81, Karun Nair 70 NO).