Karnataka outplayed Punjab in every department to earn a thumping 156-run victory over Punjab in the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmadabad. Chasing a target of 360, Punjab ended up getting bowled out for 203.
Earlier, Punjab captain Harbhajan Singh won the toss and sent Karnataka into bat , a decision he may have started to rue as early as the end of the 10th over. Karnataka openers Mayank Agarwal and Robin Uthappa took full toll of the inconsistent Punjab Bowling, putting them to the sword. Both Agarwal and Uthappa looked in sublime form on a pitch which was allowing them to hit through the line of the ball.
The Duo registered an opening stand of 162 before Uthappa was dismissed for 87 which came off 81 balls. This was Uthappa’s 30th list A half century. While Uthappa missed out on a century, Mayank Agarwal registered his third list A ton eventually finishing with a 125 of 100 balls.
Following the opening stand of 162, Agarwal and No. 3 batsman Karun Nair added 85 runs in equally quick time keeping the momentum going before Agarwal was dismissed trying to up the ante further during the batting-powerplay. The dismissal of Agarwal brought Manish Pandey to the crease who made a valuable contribution of a better than a run a ball 40. After a relatively subdued beginning, Nair cut loose in the last six overs of the innings pushing Karnataka’s score beyond 350, thus leaving Punjab a herculean task to win the trophy.
The chase started in a disappointing manner as Punjab lost opener, Manan Vohra for cheap five with just nine runs on board. Although fellow opener, Amitoze Singh along with Mandeep Singh put a 50-run partnership, but failed to last long with Amitoze getting run out on an unfortunate note.
Mandeep eventually brought up his 15th List-A half-century. Yuvraj Singh, who walked in following Amitoze’s dismissal, could last long as well and ended up getting dismissed on 23 at the score of 134. Soon to follow him was Gurkeerat Singh for just one. He was soon followed by a couple nof more batsmen walking back to the pavilion with the Karnataka bowlers not letting the Punjab batsmen settle down.
Eventually, the team ended up getting bowled out for 203 with the lower order batsmen failing to click. Abhimanyu Mithun turned things around for Karnataka in the bowling department claiming three for 37. Mayank was adjudged the Man of the Match following his brilliant 125.
Karnataka 359 for 8 in 50 overs (Mayank Agarwal 125, Robin Uthappa 87; Baltej Singh 3 for 59, Sandeep Sharma 3 for 68 ) beat Punjab 203 in 38.2 overs (Mandeep Singh 76, Amitoze Singh 46; Abhimanyu Mithun 3 for 37, Stuart Binny 2 for 62) by 156 runs.
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