Karnataka hold nerve to claim Vijay Hazare title
Karnataka 158 for 6 (Nair 53*, Upadhyay 3-30) beat Railways 157 (Jonathan 46, Mithun 4-19) by four wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Karnataka added one more trophy to their cabinet in their dream 2013-14 season, claiming the Vijay Hazare Trophy to go with the Ranji and Irani trophies. They were made to sweat, though, in their chase of a modest 158 against Railways at Eden Gardens. Railways would have fancied their chances when they reduced Karnataka to 47 for 5, but a stand of 66 between Karun Nair and KL Rahul swung the game Karnataka's way. Nair sealed the win with a patient, unbeaten 53.
The Karnataka openers set off quickly, but after a flurry of early boundaries, Robin Uthappa drove Krishnakant Upadhyay to gully for 8. Karnataka sunk further when Mayank Agarwal dragged one from Anureet Singh back onto his stumps and two balls later Upadhyay got Vinay Kumar to edge to the wicketkeeper. Anureet was in business again in his following over when Manish Pandey nicked one to the wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat, reducing Karnataka to 37 for 4. Upadhyay got yet another breakthrough in his incisive first spell with a fine delivery on the off stump that forced Ganesh Satish to edge to Rawat.
Nair and Rahul then batted patiently and could afford to drop anchor since they were chasing a middling total. The pair batted together for nearly 20 overs before Rahul lobbed one back to the seamer Chanderpal Saini. It was Railways' last breakthrough as Nair and Kunal Kapoor erased the deficit with seven overs to spare. Nair's knock came off 86 balls with four boundaries.
The Karnataka's bowlers had set up the win, with Abhimanyu Mithun leading the way with miserly figures of 4 for 19 off 9.4 overs. Railways were struggling to find the boundaries after being put in to bat, and by the time they had scored their first boundary in the eighth over, they had already lost a wicket. Amit Paunikar, who starred in the semi-final with 83, could only make 2 this time as he got a leading edge to mid-on off Vinay.
The captain Vinay sprung a surprise by bringing in the part-time seamer Uthappa and he struck in his second over, getting Shivakant Shukla to pull a long hop to fine leg. Uthappa struck again in his following over when he got Rawat to edge to Rahul.
Railways struggled to put on substantial partnerships and their best effort was 38 for the eighth wicket between Rongsen Jonathan and Amit Mishra. Mithun cleaned up the lower order and rounded off the innings when he had Jonathan caught at mid-off for 46.
Karnataka stumbled and eventually reached the target thanks to their depth in batting. Karnataka will aim to add one more trophy to that cabinet, with the T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy beginning on March 28.