Mandeep Singh's 29-ball 45 helped Punjab tie Karnataka's total of 158 before his unbeaten 10 off four balls was instrumental in his side clinching the one-over eliminator in a Super League game in Kolkata.
Electing to bowl, Punjab secured the big wicket of Mayank Agarwal when Manpreet Gony had him caught for 6. Karnataka soon slid to 35 for 3 with Karun Nair and K Gowtham falling for 13 each to seamers Baltej Singh and Gony. Karnataka's recovery was eventually down to a 64-run alliance between R Samarth (31 off 29) and CM Gautam (36 off 31). But, another collapse reduced Karnataka to 102 for 6, with Baltej removing Gautam and Stuart Binny in the space of two deliveries. Karnataka, though, were powered past 150 thanks to Aniruddha Joshi's 19-ball 40 that included six fours and a six. Baltej finished with figures of 3 for 21, while Gony took two wickets for eight runs in four overs.
In their chase, Punjab remained on course for a comfortable win with Mandeep and captain Harbhajan Singh, who batted at No. 3, putting on a blistering 67-run stand in 6.1 overs. Harbhajan, who has set a reserve price of INR 2 crore at the IPL auction, has been in good batting form recently and has batted higher up the order. He smashed 33 off 19 balls, including five fours and a six.
However, after Harbhajan was dismissed in the ninth over, Mandeep and Gurkeerat were dismissed within the space of four balls. With Yuvraj Singh also falling after a 25-ball 29, Punjab began to wobble and eventually couldn't close out the game. Left-arm seamer S Aravind picked up two lower-order wickets out of his tally of four, while legspinner Pravin Dubey, who picked up seven wickets in the last two matches, managed two scalps. Mandeep, however, did better when he got a shot at redemption in the one-over eliminator. A capped player, Mandeep has set his price at INR 50 lakh at the auction.