Vijay Hazare Trophy: KL Rahul's 90 powers Karnataka to semis
Bangalore: Opener KL Rahul continued his good form as his stroke-filled 90 guided Karnataka to the semi-finals even as another out-of-favour opener Shikhar Dhawan’s failure proved costly with Delhi exiting from another quarter-finals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here yesterday. While Karnataka cruised to an eight-wicket victory over Puducherry in one of the quarter-finals, Delhi lost by six wickets to Gujarat via VJD Method in another last eight clash.
Put into bat, Puducherry crawled to 207 for nine with Vikneshwaran MM Marimuthu top scoring with an unbeaten 58. The Karnataka bowlers led by the vastly experienced Abhimanyu Mithun (2-35) ran through the Puducherry top and middle order before Mariumuthu and Sagar Trivedi (54) tried to rally their innings. Puducherry were reeling at 41 for six at one stage before Mariumuthu and Trivedi pulled them out of trouble and gave the score some semblance of respectability.
The Karnataka bowlers kept striking at regular intervals to ensure that their opponents were restricted to a sub-par total. Leg-spinner Pravin Dubey (3-44) and seamer Vasuki Koushik (2-33) also shared the spoils.
Easy chase for hosts
The chase was a walk in the park as Rahul and fellow opener Devdutt Padikkal (50) added 98 for the opening stand. Rahul’s innings had eight fours and a six and he faced 112 balls. Once Padikkal, however one down Rohan Kadam played the perfect second fiddle to Rahul, who was all guns blazing. Rahul played his usual natural game and dominated the opposition bowlers. He and one down Rohan Kadam stitched a 84 run stand for the second wicket to take the game away from Puducherry. After Rahul fell, the win was mere a formality which was completed by Kadam in company of skipper Manish Pandey (20 not out).
Gujarat beat Delhi
In the second quarter-final, Gujarat defeated Delhi by six wickets via the VJD method. Put into bat at the Just Cricket ground, Gujarat dismissed Delhi for 223 in 49 overs as no Delhi batsman barring skipper Dhruv Shorey (91) showed any fight. India player Shikhar Dhawan’s horrendous form continued as he fell for a zero. IPL specialist Nitish Rana (33) and young Himmat Singh (26) failed to convert their starts.
For Gujarat, pacers Chintan Gaja (3-27) and left armer Arzan Nagaswalla (3-75) were among the wickets. While chasing, skipper Parthiv Patel (76) and his opening partner Priyank Panchal (80) put on 150 runs for the first wicket to take game away from Delhi. Delhi did try to make a comeback but it was too little too late as Gujarat overhauled the target In the 37th over.
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