Medium pacer Abhimanyu Mithun picked up five wickets in one over before opening batsmen KL Rahul and Devdutt Padikkal made a mockery of a big target as Karnataka beat Haryana by eight wickets to reach the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament in Surat on Friday.
Haryana, asked to bat first by Manish Pandey, dominated large parts of the first innings. Fifties from Himanshu Rana (61) and Chaitanya Bishnoi (55) put Amit Mishra’s side on course for a big score. But Mithun, who had picked up a five-for and a hat-trick in the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy against Tami Nadu, repeated the feat in the semi-final of the T20 tournament as well. This one was even better as he picked up all five wickets in the final over of the innings with four on the trot.
In the 20th over of the innings, he dismissed Himanshu Rana (61) and Rahul Tewatia (32) off the first two balls and completed his hat-trick by sending back Sumit Kumar (0).
There was more drama in store as Mithun got a wicket on the fourth ball, that of Amit Mishra (0), and then sent back Jayant Yadav (0) on the final ball of the over.
Haryana went from 192/3 to 194/8 in the final over as Karnataka went into the break with the momentum.
On a batting paradise, however, Rahul and Padikkal made the target look like a walk in the park. The openers have been in great form through the tournament for Karnataka and they carried on at the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium in the semi-final too. Rahul stroked a 31-ball 66 while youngster Padikkal smashed a 42-ball 87 with his IPL team coach (RCB’s Mike Hesson) watching on. In the process, the left-handed batsman also crossed 500 runs in the tournament this year.
Haryana’s bowlers had no answers as the defending champions chased the target down in 15 overs.
TN cruise to final
Tamil Nadu were dominant in the second semi-final, chasing down Rajasthan’s 113-run target with ease, getting home by seven wickets and 13 balls to spare.
After Dinesh Karthik opted to bowl, the bowlers, led by Vijay Shankar restricted Rajasthan, taking wickets at regular intervals and not allowing too many boundaries, managing only 112/9 in their 20 overs.
The TN batting lineup suffered an early blow with Deepak Chahar removing Hari Nishanth in the first over. However, Ravichandran Ashwin (31), promoted as an opener, and Washington Sundar (54*) steadied the ship with a 69-run unbeaten stand.
Sundar went from strength to strength and continued to find boundaries despite Ashwin’s dismissal. Dinesh Karthik couldn’t make much of an impact and it was Baba Aparajith who hit the winning runs. After playing each other in the Vijay Hazare Trophy final, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka clash once again.