Rinku Singh smashed an unbeaten 62 as Uttar Pradesh defeated defending champions Karnataka by nine runs via the VJD Method, in their rain-truncated Vijay Hazare Trophy Group C opener on Saturday. Chasing 247 in the stipulated 50 overs, Uttar Pradesh had a slow start and were 150/4 in 32 overs. At this stage, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) left-hander took charge of proceedings, hitting seven boundaries and one six in his 61-ball knock. Rain halted play at 45.2 overs with UP placed at 215/4, which was nine runs more than the par score of 207, at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
UP’s opening duo of Abhishek Goswami (54 off 67 balls) and Karan Sharma (40 off 74 balls) initially struggled to get going against the Karnataka new ball bowlers, Abhimanyu Mithun and Prasidh Krishna, managing only nine runs in the first five overs. The pair put on a century stand, but they lost three wickets for nine runs as the defending champions looked to seize the momentum. Rinku turned it around with his brisk half-century.
Put in, a depleted Karnataka, who were missing the services of KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Manish Pandey and K Gowtham, also got off to a slow start.
The promising Devdutt Padikkal (52 from 84 balls; 7×4) laid the foundation before No. 6 Aniruddha Joshi’s blazing 48-ball 68 (4×4, 6×4) propped up their total.
At Alur, veteran opener Robin Uthappa led Kerala’s chase of 259 runs with an explosive 85-ball 107 (10×4, 4×6), before rain stopped play in 38.2 overs with Kerala 233/4, which was above the par score as per the VJD Method.
In the second match at Alur, Railways thrashed Bihar by 10 wickets with openers Mrunal Devdhar (105 not out) and Pratham Singh (72 not out) taking 29 overs to cruise to a 190-run target.
Opting to bowl, Railways exploited the conditions beautifully as pacer T Pradeep rattled the top six batsmen, to reduce Bihar to 64/6 in 13.3 overs. New-ball partner Amit Mishra (3/30) cleaned up the tail to bundle out Bihar for 189 in 45.5 overs.
At M Chinnaswamy: Karnataka 246/8; 50 overs (Aniruddha Joshi 68, Devdutt Padikkal 52; Shivam Sharma 3/40) lost to Uttar Pradesh 215/4; 45.2 overs (Rinku Singh 62 not out, Abhishek Goswami 54, Karan Sharma 40) by nine runs (VJD Method).
At KSCA, Alur: Odisha 258/8; 45 overs (Sandeep Pattnaik 66, Gourav Choudhury 57, Kartik Biswal 45 not out) lost to Kerala 233/4; 38.2 overs (Robin Uthappa 107, Sachin Baby 40; Sourav Kanoja 3/43) by 34 runs (VJD Method).
At KSCA 2, Alur: Bihar 189; 45.5 overs (Anuj Raj 72, Shabbir Khan 46 not out; T Pradeep 6/43, Amit Mishra 3/30) lost to Railways 190 for no loss; 29 overs (Mrunal Devdhar 105 not out, Pratham Singh 72 not out) by 10 wickets.
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