Syed Mushtaq Ali: Karnataka beat Bengal in Super Over to reach semifinals

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File photo of Karun Nair

Manish Pandey first got a brilliant direct hit to take their match against Bengal into Super Over and then hit a massive six to steer Karnataka into the semi-finals of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy here on Thursday.

It was one of the best thrillers of the National T20 meet in recent times with both teams locked at 160 each after 20 overs. Karnataka scored the required six runs with four Super Over deliveries to spare.

In a debatable decision, skipper Sudeep Chatterjee sent an off-colour Kaif Ahmed along with Ritwik Roy Chowdhury in the Super Over was baffling.

Ahmed had barely scratched to score 20 off 26 balls.

Surprisingly, Ritwik, who brought Bengal back in contention with 36 off 18 balls, did not take the strike in the Super Over.

The quarter-final match was testimony as to why Bengal’s cricketers are not at all sought after when it comes to franchise interest.

A lot of it had to do with a lack of sane cricketing sense and the manner in which some of the batters throw away their wickets.

Barring Writtick Chatterjee (51 off 40 balls), who tried to anchor the innings, others paid the price of indiscreet shot selection.

While Shreevats Goswami (22 off 10 balls) started with 20 off the first over of chase with three fours and a six off Vijay Kumar Vyshak (0/41 in 4 overs), his opening partner Abhishek Das with a career strike-rate of less than 90, tried to pull the very first delivery of the next over when all he needed to do was give his senior partner the strike.

Goswami, who looked in good touch, went for a non-existent second run and bowler KC Cariappa (0/21 in 4 overs) affected a fine run-out.

Skipper Sudeep Chatterjee couldn’t clear the in-field off military medium bowler MB Darshan as the ball hit the toe-end of his bat.

Kaif Ahmed (20 off 26 balls) added 49 with Chatterjee before being bowled by left-arm spinner J Suchith (2/24 in 4 overs), who also accounted for Shahbaz Ahmed in the very next delivery.

However former India U-25 all-rounder Ritwik showed some great temperament. He hit two huge sixes in the final over from Vidyadhar Patil and his partner Akash Deep hit a boundary to bring the equation of 19 from 6 balls to one run off the final delivery.

Akash Deep, who was recruited by RCB, instead of trying an aerial route went for a non-existent single with fielders circling him and to his horror, it went to one of India’s finest ever fielders Pandey, who picked and threw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end in one action.

Pandey, who till then was having an ordinary day, then came in and hit Mukesh Kumar for a six to set up a semi-final date with Vidarbha.

Earlier, Karun Nair had scored 55 off 29 balls to take Karnataka to 160 for 5 which gave them a chance to fight.

Brief Scores:
Karnataka 160/5 in 20 overs (Karun Nair 55 not out ).
Bengal 160/8 in 20 overs. (Writtick C 51, Ritwik RC 36, J Suchith 2/24).
Super Over: Bengal 6/2 in 0.4 overs. Karnataka 8/0 in 0.2 balls.

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