Karnataka outclass Delhi, enter quarters

Mayank AgarwalKarnataka opener Mayank Agarwal made 68 on the final day of the Group A match against Delhi at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Thursday (IE Photo Ravi Kanojia)

After 56.5 overs had been bowled on the last day, Manish Pandey was clearly in a hurry to finish things off in Karnataka's innings against Delhi at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium. He had come in to bat with the visiting side needing 11 runs to win. He had already hit a boundary and then taken a single off his first two deliveries before offie Manoj Chauhan walked up to bowl.

The coup de grace was delivered off Chauhan's first delivery as Pandey leapt out, got to the pitch of the tossed-up delivery and bludgeoned it over the long-on ropes. Chasing a target of 115, the six took Karnataka to 116 and a victory their fifth of the season by 8 wickets.

That brutal hit was perhaps the kindest thing Pandey could have done, for the match had ceased to have much meaning early in the day. Results in Valsad and Dhanbad meant that Delhi were knocked out of a quarterfinal berth. Karnataka were already through before the game. The hosts themselves had been resolutely plodding towards defeat. They had started the final day on 132/6, essentially a lead of 45 runs. They would be bowled out for 201 in their second innings in a determined if ultimately futile effort batting effort.

HS Sharath hinted at a quick finish when he got one to keep low in the third over of the day and dismissed overnight batsman Varun Sood for a 14-ball-duck. Sumit Narwal is someone who usually enjoys a free swing of his arms but on the occasion he chose to buckle down. Narwal (21 off 61 balls) put on a 40-run stand with Milind Kumar (30 n.o. off 100 balls) over 17.1 overs he was bowled by a ball that stayed low to give left arm spinner Abrar Kazi his first wicket of the game.

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