Abhimanyu Mithun Hat-Trick Delivers Karnataka Fourth Vijay Hazare Title
Mayank Agarwal (L) and KL Rahul added 112 runs for the third wicket. (IANS Photo)

Karnataka were crowned winners of the 2019-20 Vijay Hazare Trophy after they beat Tamil Nadu by 60 runs with VJD method coming into play. On his birthday, Abhimanyu Mithun delivered a final-over and finished with a hat-trick and a five-wicket-haul to keep Tamil Nadu to 252.

Chasing the target, Karnataka were strongly placed at 146/1 with unbeaten half-centuries from opener KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal before rain lashed the Chinnaswamy stadium. After 40 minutes of uninterrupted rain, Karnataka, who were way ahead of the VJD equation, were declared winners.

Mithun recorded Karnataka’s first Vijay Hazare Trophy hat-trick. He took two balls to delivery the breakthrough for his side with Murali Vijay edging to first slip. R Ashwin was promoted up the order but could only score 8 off 13 before nicking to Rahul. Tamil Nadu were crawling at 24/2 before Abhimanyu Mukund and Baba Aparajith came to the rescue, adding 124 runs for the fourth wicket.

Both batsmen brought up their respective half-centuries and combined to hit 16 boundaries. The partnership ended when Mukund slapped left-arm fast bowler Prateek Jain to Agarwal at covers. Karnataka suffered a second blow in quick succession when a poor call from Vijay Shankar resulted in Aparajith getting run out for 66.

From there, Karnataka pulled things back, putting a brake on Tamil Nadu’s scoring. Krishnappa Gowtham scalped the key wicket of skipper Dinesh Karthik before Vijay Shankar and Mohammad Shahrukh Khan chipped in with some vital runs. Tamil Nadu crossed the 250 in the final over before Mithun struck thrice in final three balls to dismiss Shahrukh, M Mohammad and Murugan Ashwin.

Tamil Nadu began well with Washington Sundar sending back Devdutt Padikkal in the fifth over, but Agarwal and Rahul ensured no further damage was done. The pair added 112 unbeaten runs at a scoring rate of almost six an over with Rahul striking five boundaries to remain not out on 52 off 72 and Agarwal seven fours and three sixes to reach 69 off 55. After 23 overs were bowled, the rain was strong enough to stop play, but Karnataka’s healthy run rate kept them way ahead of projected score.

Brief Scores: Karnataka 146/1 (Mayank Agarwal 69*, KL Rahul 52*) beat Tamil Nadu 252 all out (Abhinav Mukund 85, Baba Aparajith 66; Abhimanyu Mithun 4/35) by 60 runs (VJD Method)Abhimanyu Mithun Hat-Trick Delivers Karnataka Fourth Vijay Hazare Title