Karnataka beat India ‘B’ by six runs

Dharamsala: Karnataka pulled off a narrow six-run victory over India ‘B’ to start their campaign in the Deodhar Trophy cricket tournament on a positive note here today.

Batting first after winning the toss, Karnataka notched a challenging 296 for eight in the allotted 50 overs.

Ravikumar Samarth top-scored for Karnataka with a brisk 117 off 115 balls as the Vijay Hazare Trophy winners closed in on 300 at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Stadium.

Manoj Tiwary slammed a breezy century (120 off 110 balls) and anchored India ‘B’ chase, but his dismissal in the 42nd over triggered a collapse that saw the team stop at 290 for nine in 50 overs.

India ‘B’ were reduced to 23 for three in the seventh over and then 108 for four, but a century partnership between Bengal skipper Tiwary and Mumbai’s Siddhesh Lad (70 off 78 balls) brought the team back into the game.

However, India ‘B’ lost their way after Tiwary was sent back by leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal, and even Lad could not help his team cross the line.

Tiwary’s knock was laced with 10 boundaries and four sixes, while Lad found the fence six times.

Gopal was the most successful bowler for Karnataka, returning figures of 3/29, while off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham took the wicket of Lad at a crucial juncture.

M Prasidh Krishna picked up two wickets, including that of Hanuma Vihari, whose 76-ball 95 guided India ‘B’ to an eight-wicket win over India ‘A’ in the tournament’s opening match yesterday.

Earlier, Samarth’s knock was the pivot around which the Karnataka innings revolved. He hit 13 boundaries and a six.

In-form opener Mayank Agarwal smashed 44 off 40 balls, but skipper Karun Nair missed out after getting out for 10.