Punjab’s left-arm spinner Karan Kalia picked up nine wickets to lead his side to a comprehensive 101-run win over Andhra in the CK Nayudu U-23 final at Patiala’s Dhruv Pandove Stadium on Thursday.
Kalia finished with a 14-wicket haul in the match as Andhra were bowled out for 151 while chasing Punjab’s target of 253.
The effort not only helped Punjab lift the coveted trophy, but also helped Kalia finish as the tournament’s top wicket-taker with 49 scalps.
Kalia, who represented the the India-19 team in the 2014 youth World Cup, could have finished with all ten wickets to his name, had Punjab keeper Anmol Malhotra not dropped a catch off Andhra skipper Siva Charan Singh, who later caught behind off Vinay Chaudhary.
Kalia has been impressive through the tournament and was also called up to play for the Punjab senior team in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy.
The huge haul, though, brought the Patiala wicket under the scanner with spinners having accounted for 39 of the 40 wickets that fell in the match.
Former India pacer and chairman of the junior selection committee, Venkatesh Prasad, lambasted the curators for laying out a spin heaven for the final, “We require good pitches in domestic matches to produce elite fast bowlers. Spinners have called the shots on this turning track, leaving no scope for fast bowlers,” was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times. “By making pro-spin pitches in domestic cricket, we are destroying the fast bowling talent of the country,” Prasad lamented.
- Punjab 144 (Anmolpreet Singh 42, Shivluv Sabharwal 38; Chikkam S Kishore 4/50, A Vinaykumar 4/55) & 225 (Himanshu Sharma 67; N Chaudhary 51; A Vinaykumar 6/97) beat Andhra 117 (Karan Kalia 5/27, Vinay Choudhary 4/23) & 151 (M Pranith 43; Karan Kalia 9/80) by 101 runs.