Mayank Agarwal emerged as the highest run-scorer © PTI
Mayank Agarwal emerged as the highest run-scorer © PTI

Mayank Agarwal, Krishnappa Gowtham and Prasidh Krishna starred as Karnataka beat Saurashtra by 41 runs to lift the 2017-18 Vijay Hazare Trophy. Winning the toss at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi on Tuesday, Saurashtra put Karnataka in. Agarwal’s 90 guided them to 253 in 45.5 overs. Krishna and Gowtham then shared 6 wickets between them to bundle Saurashtra for 212, with 3.3 overs still remaining. This is Karnataka’s third title and first since 2014-15. Only Tamil Nadu (4) have more titles than Karnataka now.

Karnataka started off weakly. They were reduced to 5 for 2 within 3 overs, with Karun Nair and KL Rahul departing for ducks. Agarwal carried his magnificent form into the final, spending time at the crease and helping his team revive. Agarwal and Ravikumar Samarth built a 139-run partnership which brought their team back in the game. Agarwal scored at a strike rate of 114 and hit 11 fours and 3 sixes facing 79 deliveries.

After Agarwal’s departure, Samarth soon followed him. Karnataka lost wickets in quick succession, including Stuart Binny for 5. Pavan Deshpande and Shreyas Gopal built the second big partnership of the innings but the rest of the lower order faltered. Kamlesh Makvana ran through the tail with 4 wickets. He emerged as Saurashtra’s best bowler.

The Karnataka bowlers gave Saurashtra a similar start, reducing them to 15 for 2. Cheteshwar Pujara held his ground and tried to rebuild with Avi Barot but that too did not last very long. Barot departed for 30, and Saurashtra kept losing wickets frequently. Pujara kept fighting from one end but could not complete his century. His 127-ball 94 was studded with 10 fours and a six. Gowtham emulated Makvana and cleared off the tail quickly. For Karnataka, Gowtham and Krishna were the pick of the bowlers.

Mayank Agarwal was named Man of the Match. He finished as the highest scorer of the tournament while Hyderabad’s Mohammed Siraj was the most successful bowler this season.

Brief scores:

Karnataka 253 in 45.5 overs (Mayank Agarwal 90, Ravikumar Samarth 48, Pavan Deshpande 49; Prerak Mankad 2 for 54, Kamlesh Makvana 4 for 34) won against Saurashtra 212 in 46.3 overs (Avi Barot 30, Cheteshwar Pujara 94; Prasidh Krishna 3 for 37, Krishnappa Gowtham 3 for 27) by 41 runs.

Man of the Match: Mayank Agarwal.