NEW DELHI — Sensible batting from opener Mayank Agarwal (90) helped Karnataka outplay Saurashtra by 41 runs in the final match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy 50-overs cricket tournament here Feb. 27.
Following the win, Karnataka pacer Sreenath Arvind also announced his retirement from first-class and list A cricket.
Chasing, 254, Saurashtra failed to get the start they wanted and started losing wickets at quick intervals. The first two wickets fell inside three overs with the scoreboard reading 15 runs.
Apart from skipper Cheteshwar Pujara (94 in 127 balls), no other batsmen rose to the occasion and gifted away their wickets.
Pujara, however, tried to match the pace of the game but lack of support from the other end resulted in their loss.
Prasidh Krishna and Krishnappa Gowtham took three wickets each for Karnataka.
Put into bat, Karnataka started off on a bad note, losing Karun Nair (0) and Lokesh Rahul (0) in the first three overs in the innings.
With the scoreboard reading 5/2, Ravikumar Samarth (48) came in the middle and played handsomely with Agarwal. The duo forged a 136-run partnership to stabilise the innings.
But just when things seemed good in the middle, Agarwal, who became the first batsman to score over 2000 runs in a single domestic season, was dismissed in the 25th over by Dharmendrasinh Jadeja. In his 79 ball innings, Agarwal slammed 11 fours and three sixes.
Agarwal scored 1160 runs in the Ranji Trophy, including five centuries. In the flagship domestic T20 tournament, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Agarwal scored 258 and in the Vijay Hazare trophy he amassed 723.
Soon, Samarth was also sent packing by Prerak Mankad in the next over to make it 147/4.
Unperturbed by the fall of wickets, incoming batsman Pavan Deshpande (49) played a crucial knock in the middle overs. Apart from him, other batsmen Stuart Binny (5), Shreyas Gopal (31), Krishnappa Gowtham (9) could not add much to the score.
In the 44th over, Deshpande was also dismissed by Kamlesh Makvana. Lower-order batsmen — Sreenath Aravind (13) and Pradeep T (1) — tried to contribute but were dismissed inside two overs after the fall of Deshpande's wicket.
For Saurashtra, Kamlesh Makvana chipped in with four wickets while Prerak Mankad took two wickets.
"Proud to be lifting this trophy on behalf of this energetic young team! @RanjiKarnataka. We have been phenomenal throughout the Season and this was well deserved?? & @mayankcricket Congratulations on an outstanding season. Way to go bro?? #VijayHazareTrophy2018 @BCCIdomestic," Karun Nair said on Twitter.
Brief scores: Karnataka 253/10 (Mayank Agarwal 90, Pavan Deshpande 49; Kamlesh Makvana 4/32) against Saurashtra 212/10 (Cheteshwar Pujara 94; Krishnappa Gowtham 3/27).