Karnataka produced a clinical all-round performance to crush Jharkhand by 123 runs in their Elite Group A clash in the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Thursday.
Pavan Deshpande top-scored with a brisk 70 while Devdutt Padikkal and Manish Pandey made half-centuries as Karnataka made 285 after being put in at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. In reply, Jharkhand was shot out for 162, off-spinner K. Gowtham taking five for 43.
Karnataka had been guilty of starting the Vijay Hazare Trophy poorly last season. There can be no such accusation this time. Jharkhand never threatened to chase down the target on a slow surface, especially after captain Ishan Kishan was sent back early by Abhimanyu Mithun.
Saurabh Tiwary and Anukul Roy offered the only semblance of resistance, adding 51 for the sixth wicket. But Gowtham dismissed both batsmen in the space of four balls, Roy edging behind and Tiwary picking out the long-on fielder.
Shreyas Gopal seemed in great rhythm and bowled better than his figures of 9-1-39-2 suggest. He sliced through the Jharkhand middle-order, foxing Kumar Deobrat and Ishank Jaggi with a pair of googlies.
In the morning, K.L. Rahul made a laboured 51-ball-29 before his innings ended with a lofted drive. He and Padikkal, who made 58 after weathering challenging conditions in the opening hour, added 75 runs for the first wicket.
Pandey made a typically attractive 52 (44b, 3×4, 2×6), but fell to an innocuous delivery, chipping a full, wide ball straight to the long-off fielder. Gowtham and Mithun, sent up the order to give the ball a whack, failed in their endeavour and Karnataka seemed in danger of frittering away its good start.
Deshpande, though, held things together. His may seem like an unheralded name in the middle-order, but the left-hander from Dharwad was quietly impressive.
He rotated the strike diligently in Pandey’s company and then exploded towards the end, smacking Varun Aaron for three fours in the 47th over. He contributed with the ball too, returning frugal figures of none for 18 from six overs.
Karnataka now has six points from two games, and will next meet Chhattisgarh on Saturday.
After two full days were lost to the rain, there was action in all three Group A games on Thursday. Andhra defeated Goa by seven wickets in a 21-overs-a-side match while Saurashtra edged Kerala by three wickets in a 34-overs-a-side affair.
The scores: Karnataka 285 for nine in 50 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 58, Manish Pandey 52, Pavan Deshpande 70, Rahul Shukla four for 43, Anand Singh four for 52) bt Jharkhand 162 in 37.5 overs (Anand Singh 32, Saurabh Tiwary 43, K. Gowtham five for 43).
Goa 107 for nine in 21 overs (Y. Prithvi Raj five for 21) lost to Andhra 112 for three in 20.2 overs (D.B. Prashanth Kumar 46 n.o., Karan Shinde 33 n.o.).
Kerala 186 for nine in 34 overs (Vishnu Vinod 41, Vinoop Manoharan 47, Chirag Jani three for 23) lost to Saurashtra 187 for seven in 33.4 overs (Arpit Vasavada 92 n.o., Prerak Mankad 30, Harvik Desai 31).