Devdutt Padikkal seems to be knocking hard on the door of the national selectors before England ODIs as he slammed his fourth consecutive List A ton in Karnataka’s 80-run win against Kerala in the Vijay Hazare Trophy quarter-final in New Delhi on Monday.
Elsewhere, Skipper Priyank Panchal’s stroke-filled 134 and an equally impressive show from the bowlers set up Gujarat’’s massive 117-run win over Andhra in the other quarter-final that was played at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Uttar Pradesh v Delhi and Mumbai v Saurashtra will decide the other two semi-finalists.
Karnataka rode on skipper Ravikumar Samarth’s knock of 192 off 158 balls and a stroke-filled 101 by 20-year-old left-handed Padikkal (off 119 balls) to post an imposing 338/3 and then bundled out the opposition for 258.
Both the Karnataka openers have now crossed 600 runs for the season.
VJH Trophy top run-scorers
Karnataka's 600-run men in VJH Trophy '21
|192||101||v Kerala||Delhi||8 Mar 2021|
|130*||145*||v Railways||Bengaluru||28 Feb 2021|
|62||126*||v Kerala||Bengaluru||26 Feb 2021|
|60||152||v Odisha||Alur (3)||24 Feb 2021|
|158*||97||v Bihar||Bengaluru||22 Feb 2021|
|3||52||v U. Pradesh||Bengaluru||20 Feb 2021|
Kerala’s decision to put Karnataka into bat at the Air Force ground backfired badly, as Samarth and Padikkal toyed with their attack with a massive 249-run partnership for the first wicket.
Samarth, a 28-year-old right-hander, hammered 22 boundaries and three sixes in his 158-ball knock. He completed his century in 112 balls and was aggressive right from the start, while Padikkal hammered 10 boundaries and two maximums.
It was a Samarth-Padikkal show as Karnataka were going strong at 196/0 after 35 overs having laid the foundation for a mammoth total.
While Padikkal continued his fabulous show in the national ODI tournament and in the process scored his 4th consecutive List A century and became the first Indian to do so, Samarth surpassed veteran Wasim Jaffer’s unbeaten 170 to register the highest score in a Vijay Hazare knock-out match.
After Padikkal fell in the 43rd over, Samarth upped the ante while Manish Pandey (34 not out) played his role to perfection. Samarth fell in the 49th over but had ensured that his side went past the 315-run mark.
For Kerala, right-arm medium pacer Basil NP (3/57) was the pick of the bowlers, while others had an off-day. Former India speedster S Sreesanth conceded 73 runs in his 10 overs.
Chasing 339, Kerala was in a spot of bother at 15/2 as pacer Ronit More (5/36) dismissed Robin Uthappa (2) and Rohan Kunnummal (2) early. M Prasidh Krisha (1/22) removed Vishnu Vinod (28) as Kerala slumped to 52/3.
Two-down Vathsal Govind (92; 6x4, 3x6) and skipper Sachin Baby (27) did the repair job with their 59-run fourth wicket stand, but offie K Gowtham (2/73) did the trick by sending back Baby as Kerala was reeling at 111/4.
Vathsal, who was then joined by Mohammed Azharuddeen (52; 5x4, 2x6), had different plans as they took on the opposition bowlers, and forged a 92-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Seasoned leggie Shreyas Gopal (2/64), however, brought Karnataka back into the contest, by taking two quick wickets.
First, he dismissed Azharuddeen and then Akshay Chandran, while Govind became More’s third victim, as the three dismissal paved the way for Karnataka’’s win.
Kerala was eventually bowled out for 258.
Brief scores: Karnataka 338/3 (Ravikumar Samarth 192, Devdutt Padikkal 101; Basil NP 3/57) beat Kerala 258 (Vathsal Govind 92; M Azharuddeen 52; Ronit More 5/36, Shreyas Gopal 2/64) by 80 runs.
Panchal leads from the front
Gujarat rode on Panchal’s 134 to post a competitive 299/7 and then bundled out the opposition for 182, to make it to the semi-final.
India Test star and Andhra captain Hanuma Vihari was out for a five-ball duck.
Opting to bat, Gujarat lost Dhruv Raval (18) early, after he was dismissed by medium pacer KV Sasikanth (2/55).
However, skipper Panchal took on the Andhra attack and found an able partner in one-drop batsman Rahul Shah (36 off 59 balls; 3x4) as the two rallied the Gujarat innings with their 80-run second-wicket stand.
But just when it looked like the duo would take the game away, Andhra slow-left arm spinner A Lalith Mohan (2/55) broke the partnership by trapping Shah leg before.
Het Patel (28) was unable to convert his start as Gujarat slipped to 166/3.
Despite losing partners at the other end, Panchal continued to play his shots. He hammered 10 boundaries and two maximums in his 131-ball knock even as Ripal Patel (35) and Chirag Gandhi (15) played second fiddle to him, but could not convert their starts.
Andhra kept making inroads at regular intervals with medium-pacer M Harishankar Reddy (3/60) being the pick of the bowlers. It was largely due to Panchal’s hitting, that Gujarat crossed the 280-run mark.
Chasing 300, Andhra was struggling at 21/3, as Gujarat’s left-arm pacer Arzan Nagwaswalla (4/28) wreaked havoc, removing CR Gnaneshwar (6), Ashwin Hebbar (10) and rival skipper Vihari cheaply.
It became 36/4 as left-arm spinner Hardik Patel (1/27) removed Nitish Kumar Reddy (5) and then Karan Shinde (9) also fell early as Andhra lost its half side for 58.
Ricky Bhui (67 off 76 balls; 3x4; 4x6) and Naren Reddy (28) added 61 runs for the sixth wicket and tried to bring Andhra back into the game, but Nagwaswalla got his fourth and sent Reddy back as Andhra was teetering at 119/6.
Bhui’s knock only delayed the inevitable and Andhra were eventually bundled out for 182.
Seasoned campaigner Piyush Chawla (3/33) played a vital role in the win.
Brief scores: Gujarat 299/7 (Priyank Panchal 134; Rahul Shah 36; M Harishankar Reddy 3/60, A Lalith Mohan 2/55) beat Andhra 182 (Ricky Bhui 67, Arzan Nagwaswalla 4/28; Piyush Chawla 3/33) by 117 runs.
You can watch highlights of Gujarat’s win over Andhra here.
(With PTI inputs)