Railways stun Karnataka with one-wicket win
Defending champions Karnataka began their Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign with defeat, as Railways hung on for a one-wicket win off the last ball in Bangalore. Chasing 229, Railways were struggling at 70 for 4 once their opener Asad Pathan was dismissed for 50. However, Mahesh Rawat and Karn Sharma chipped in with fifties of their own, and Railways were seemingly on track at 190 for 5. Karnataka, though, wrestled their way back into the game, as bursts from Vinay Kumar and Aniruddha Joshi saw Railways lose four wickets for 32 runs, with the equation now reading seven required off nine balls, with one wicket in hand. Railways' final pair of Akshat Pandey and Krishnakant Upadhyay held their nerve though, with Pandey striking two fours during a run-a-ball 19 to complete the win.
Karnataka would have hoped to post a total in excess of 228 for 9 when their openers Mayank Agarwal and Lokesh Rahul added 60 inside 13 overs. However, Pandey (3 for 45) and Ashish Yadav (3 for 25) struck blows at regular intervals to throw the hosts off course, and only an unbeaten 48-ball 50 from the captain Vinay dragged Karnataka above the 200-run mark.
Half-centuries from Ishank Jaggi and Kaushal Singh set Jharkhand up for a nine-run win over Jammu and Kashmir in Alur. Jaggi's 54 at the top of the order, and Kaushal's 64-ball 53 at No. 7 helped Jharkhand post a total of 210 after they were sent in to bat. Sixties from Shubham Khajuria and Parvez Rasool took J&K to a strong 144 for 2 in the 36th over, but they slipped thereafter, losing both in the space of seven balls to finish on 201 for 7.
Jharkhand's win came despite lukewarm displays from their two biggest stars. Batting at No. 5, MS Dhoni was out for 9 off 24 balls, while Varun Aaron, bowling first-change, went wicketless, conceding 52 in his 10 overs. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem was their most successful bowler, with figures of 3 for 28.
Three-wicket hauls from Jayant Yadav and Amit Mishra fired Haryana to a nine-run win against Kerala in Alur. Kerala were struggling at 106 for 9 in their chase of 242, but recovered through a 92-run partnership between Sachin Baby and Padmanabhan Prasanth. Prasanth was dismissed for 27, but with three wickets in hand, and Baby still at the crease, Kerala had every chance of gunning down their required 44 runs off six overs. Kerala were unable to gather the required acceleration though, and three wickets in the final over, bowled by Mohit Sharma, meant Haryana hung on for victory.
Earlier, Haryana's 241 for 7 was built on the back of fifties from Nitin Saini and Mohit Hooda, and the pair's 95-run partnership. Besides just sharing six wickets between them, Jayant and Mishra also contributed with the bat, scoring 40 and 27 respectively.