Karnataka defeated Tamil Nadu by 60 runs in a rain curtailed final played at M Chinnswamy Stadium, Bangalore on Friday.
Karnataka captain Manish Pandey won the toss and decided to field first. The decision paid off as V Koushik dismissed the experienced Murali Vijay for 0 in the 1st over. Abhimanyu Mithun and Koushik troubled with his swing and seam movement. Koushik struck again by dismissing Ravichandran Ashwin who came at number 3. At the end of 10 overs, Tamil Nadu were 32 for 2.
Abhinav Mukund and Baba Aparjith steadied the innings for Tamil Nadu with positive stroke play taking singles and hitting occasional boundaries. After settling in, Mukund took the attack against Karnataka bowlers to reach his fifty off 68 balls with a boundary. The experienced pair did not allow Pravin Dubey to settle. Karun Nair also bowled few overs but could not provide the breakthrough for Karnataka. Aparjith also completed his fifty off 57 balls. The debutant Prateek Jain dismissed dangerous Abhinav Mukund for 85. Mukund and Aparjith added 124 runs for the 3rd wicket.
A brilliant run out by Manish Pandey and KL Rahul ended Baba Aparjith innings. The captain of Tamil Nadu side Dinesh Karthik failed to rise to occasion as he fell for 11. The Karnataka bowlers made a brilliant comeback by picking wickets at regular intervals. Abhimanyu Mithun grabbed hat-trick dismissing M Sharkukh Khan, M Mohammed and Murgun Ashwin in the 50th over to bowl out Tamil Nadu for 252 in 49.4 overs.
Chasing down the target of 253 runs to win, KL Rahul looked positive with his intent and put the Tamil Nadu bowlers under pressure. Washington Sundar got the breakthrough dismissing Devdutt Paddikal for 11. The Karnataka openers added 34 runs in 4.3 overs. Mayank Agarwal came to the crease and made the batting look easy. At the end of 10 overs, Karnataka raced to 64 for 1.
After the first 10 overs, Agarwal continued his superb form that he displayed in the Test series against South Africa. KL Rahul looked confident with his stroke play. Mayank reached his fifty off just 41 balls while Rahul took reached his fifty off 71 balls. Rain arrived when the score read 146 in 23 overs. At that time, Karnataka needed to be 87. The rain did not stop and Karnataka won the Vijay Hazare finals by 60 runs.
Karnataka had a fantastic tournament losing just 1 match in the entire tournament. It was a team performance which led to such a dominating performance by Manish Pandey led side. Before the T20I series against Bangladesh, it is a confidence booster for KL Rahul and would like to continue his form in that series too.
Karnataka 146 for 1 in 23 overs ( Mayank Agarwal 69*, KL Rahul 52*, Washington Sundar 1/51) beat Tamil Nadu 252 in 49.4 overs ( Abhinav Mukund 85, Baba Aparjith 66, Abhimanyu Mithun 5/34, V Koushik 2/39) by 60 runs via VJD method.