Much before the result was formalised, Karnataka’s openers firmly shut the door on Kerala and paved the way for an 80-run win at the Air Force Ground, Palam, here on Monday and a place in the semifinals of the Vijay Hazare tournament.
Opting to field in perfect batting conditions proved Kerala’s undoing.
Nothing went right for Sachin Baby and his men as R. Samarth (192, 158b, 22×4, 3×6) and Devdutt Padikkal (101, 119b, 10×4, 2×6) laid a 249-run foundation as Karnataka posted a towering 338 for three in 50 overs.
Never in the hunt
In reply, Kerala was never in the hunt. Barring the resistance offered by Vathsal Govind (92, 96b, 6×4, 3×6) and Mohammed Azharuddeen (52, 34b, 5×4, 6×2) during their sixth-wicket stand of 92 runs, there was no bright spot for Kerala.
Medium-pacer Ronit More (5/36) scalped three of the top four Kerala batsmen — Robin Uthappa (2), Rohan Kannumma (0) and a well-set Vathsal — to ensure the chase was never really on.
Earlier, Samarth and Padikkal dictated the course of the match by punishing the medium-pacers.
Manish Pandey (34 n.o.) provided the late flourish.
S. Sreesanth (10-1-73-0) and Basil Thampi (7-0-67-0) undid all the good work done early on by off-spinner Jalaj Saxena (10-1-34-0) who opened the bowling. Medium-pacer N.P. Basil (8-0-57-3) was the only successful bowler.
The scores: Karnataka 338/3 in 50 overs (R. Samarth 192, Devdutt Padikkal 101) bt Kerala 258 in 43.4 overs (Vathsal Vinod 92, Mohammed Azharuddeen 52, Ronit More 5/36).
Tuesday’s fixtures: Delhi v UP; Mumbai v Saurashtra.