Karnataka defeated Vidarbha by four runs in a thrilling semifinal to enter the summit clash of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy national T20 tournament here on Saturday.
Asked to bat at the Arun Jaitley stadium, Karnataka rode on Rohan Kadam's blistering 87 off 56 balls to post a competitive 176 for seven and then restricted the opposition to 172 for six with right-arm pacer Vidyadhar Patil (1/29) holding his nerve in the final over.
Patil had to defend 14 runs and the speedster ensured that his side would face defending champions Tamil Nadu in the summit clash. Karnataka openers Kadam and skipper Manish Pandey (54 off 42 balls) gave the side an aggressive start as they toyed with the Vidarbha attack.
The duo took on pacers Darshan Nalkande (4/28), Yash Thakur (1/35) and Lalit Yadav (2/36) to stitch 132 runs for the first wicket. Kadam was the more aggressive one, while Pandey played the second fiddle as they brought up the team's fifty in just 5.1 overs.
Left-arm-orthodox spinner Akshay Karnewar, who has been economical, conceded five runs in his first over even as Karnataka raced to 53/0 after the power play. While Kadam hammered seven fours and four maximums, Pandey struck two fours and three sixes as they took the Vidarbha attack to cleansers.
However, Lalit Yadav broke the stand after removing Kadam in the 16th over, but by then the damage had already been done. Lalit struck again, this time removing Pandey, who was caught by Akshay Wakhare.
Karun Nair (5) also fell cheaply but a quick-fire 13-ball-27 by Abhinav Manohar propelled Karnataka past the 170-run mark. Darshan Nalkande wreaked havoc in the middle-order by taking four wickets in fours balls in the final over, but it was too little and too late
The chase from Vidarbha
Chasing a formidable 177, Vidarbha openers Atharva Taide (32) and Ganesh Satish (31) added 43 for the first wicket. But Karnataka pegged back the opposition by dismissing the top four batters to leave Vidarbha tottering at 103 for four.
Medium pacer Darshan MB then sent back Jitesh Sharma (12) as Vidarbha lost half its side for 122. But some late hitting by Apoorv Wankhede (27 not out off 22 balls) and Karnewar (22 off 12 balls) meant Vidarbha needed 14 off the final over as they took the game deep.
But pacer Patil dashed Vidarbha's hopes, dismissing Karnewar in the first ball of the final over and then held his nerve to see his side home.
Karnataka 176 for 7 in 20 overs (Rohan Kadam 87, Manish Pandey 54; Darshan Nalkande 4/28, Lalit Yadav 2/36) beat Vidarbha 172 for 6 in 20 overs (Atharva Taide 32, Ganesh Satish 31; KC Cariappa 2/27, Karun Nair 1/10) by four runs.