A horror batting show saw Karnataka crash to an embarrassing nine-wicket loss against Punjab in its Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy quarterfinal clash at Ahmedabad on Tuesday.
Karnataka, the defending champion, was bundled out for a paltry 87. Punjab had little trouble chasing it down, reaching home with 7.2 overs to spare.
Karnataka did only marginally better than its lowest ever total in the tournament — 66 against Goa at Visakhapatnam in 2014.
Poor shot selection brought Karnataka’s swift downfall. Skipper Karun Nair (12) was the first to go, getting a leading edge to mid-off. Much depended on Devdutt Padikkal (11), but the southpaw let the side down with an ugly swipe at fast bowler Siddharth Kaul.
A smart catch by Mayank Markande, in the same over, removed Pavan Deshpande for a duck. B.R. Sharath (2) and Shreyas Gopal (13) edged deliveries outside off, while J. Suchith (8) glanced one down leg to the wicketkeeper.
Aniruddha Joshi (27, 34b, 2×4) hung around, before attempting a wild slog and losing his stumps to spinner Markande.
Reaping the rewards
The Punjab bowling attack stuck to a good line and reaped the rewards. Kaul, who took a hat-trick when the two sides met in the group stage, returned figures of three for 15. Fellow pacers Sandeep Sharma, Arshdeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh took two wickets each. Markande (one for 12) impressed with his control and flight variations.
Punjab overcame a mild stutter when opener Abhishek Sharma’s cut was pouched by Padikkal in the first over. Prabhsimran Singh (49 n.o., 37b, 2×4, 3×6) and captain Mandeep Singh (35 n.o., 33b, 1×4, 1×6) took over, ensuring smooth passage to the semifinal round.
Karnataka 87 in 17.2 overs (Siddarth Kaul 3/15) lost to Punjab 89/1 in 12.4 overs (Prabhsimran Singh 49 n.o., Mandeep Singh 35 n.o.)
Himachal 135/9 in 20 overs (Rishi Dhawan 35 n.o., Sonu Yadav 3/14) vs Tamil Nadu.