Rajasthan and Karnataka Clash in Epic 2nd Semi Final Showdown of 2023/24

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Rajasthan 283 for 4 (Hooda 180, Lamba 73*) beat Karnataka 282 for 8 (Manohar 91, Bhandage 63, Ajay 2-43) by six wickets

Deepak Hooda led a remarkable revival with a 128-ball 180 to take Rajasthan to their first Vijay Hazare Trophy final in 16 years, helping beat Karnataka by six wickets in Rajkot.

Rajasthan were 23 for 3 chasing 283 when which Hooda combined for a fourth-wicket stand of 255 runs with Karan Lamba and put up his career-best List A score.

Electing to bat, Karnataka lost captain Mayank Agarwal for 13 in the sixth over. His opening partner R Samarth was the next to depart, for 8 off 21 balls in the ninth over. Nikin Jose and Krishnan Shrijith rebuilt the innings with a 46-run stand before left-arm spinner Ajay Singh struck to dismiss the former. Shrijith was sent back soon after by Rahul Chahar for 21, leaving Karnataka at 87 for 4.

Abhinav Manohar, at No. 6, then injected life into Karnataka’s innings with an 80-ball 91, putting up partnerships of 89 and 95 with Manish Pandey and Manoj Bhandage respectively. He hit 10 fours and three sixes in his stay, taking Karnataka’s total to 282. He fell on the last ball off the innings, finishing with his highest List A score.

In turn, Rajasthan lost both their openers for ducks in 1.2 overs, V Koushik and Vijaykumar Vyshak causing the damage for Karnataka with the new ball. Mahipal Lomror hit three fours in his 17-ball stay but was soon out to Bhandage. Lamba then joined Hooda at the crease.

Hooda took his time to settle in, scoring his first boundary only off the 24th ball he faced. The duo soon started finding the boundaries and started piling on the runs, bringing up their 50-run stand in 62 balls. They pushed the total past 100 in the 22nd over, but at that time Rajasthan were still behind on the required run rate.

Hooda brought up his half-century with a six in the same over, off 53 balls. He then started dealing in fours and sixes, taking only 32 balls to get to his century from then on. He brought up his ton with a boundary in the 30th over.

Lamba, meanwhile, got to his half-century off 76 balls in the very next over. The duo by then had brought the equation down to 102 off 19 overs.

Following his century, Hooda plundered seven fours and three sixes to get to 180 before K Gowtham ended his stay in the 42nd over, with Rajasthan needing just five to win the game. Lamba sealed the win in the same over, hitting a four to finish on 69 as Karnataka fell short.

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