One of the newest rags-to-riches story of the IPL, Krishnappa Gowtham impressed in a closely contested match for his team Karnataka against a MS Dhoni-led Jharkhand team in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, in the new pitch of Eden Gardens. Off-spinner K Gowtham took four wickets at crucial points in the match to help his team Jharkhand by 5 runs in the last over of the match.
Dhoni won the toss and sent in Karnataka who were bundled out for 266 in 49.4 overs, a competitive total that was possible due to fighting 50’s from their skipper Manish Pandey and Ravikumar Samarth in a 116-run partnership for the third wicket.
In reply, Jharkhand got off to a bad start losing two wickets for the score of just three inside the first two overs of the second innings. Ishank Jaggi and Ishan Kishan steadied the ship for a while but both perished, leaving the team at 79-4 when Gowtham got Ishan Kishan out, caught by Manish Pandey. In came MS Dhoni, joining hands with Saurabh Tiwary, batting cautiously and took his time to get off the mark, eight balls to be precise. Soon, he hit a couple of towering sixes but lost his stumps trying to scoop a delivery on the stumps to fine leg and missing the ball at the team score of 160 with more than 100 runs required for victory.
Then K Gowtham came into his own and claimed the next three wickets to fall down including those of Saurabh Tiwary and Shabaz Nadeem who were threatening to take the game away with a quickfire partnership of 39 runs off just 26 balls. Rahul Shukla (24 off 21) and Monu Kumar (17 off 10) took the game to the last over requiring 12 runs off it for victory with just one wicket in hand. Pacer Prasidh Krishna showed his presence of mind to run out Rahul Shukla in the penultimate ball of the match with Jharakhand still requiring six more runs.
Brief Scores: Karnataka 266; 49.4 overs (Manish Pandey 77, Ravikumar Samarth 71; Rahul Shukla 4/45, Varun Aaron 2/52, Monu Kumar 2/44, Anand Singh 2/47) beat Jharkhand 261 in 49.5 overs (Saurabh Tiwary 68, M S Dhoni 43; K Gowtham 4/58, Prasidh 2/41, T Pradeep 2/49) by five runs.