Vijay Hazare Trophy: Samarth’s unbeaten 158 powers Karnataka to big win

R. Samarth’s highest List A score (158 n.o., 144b, 15×4, 1×6) propelled Karnataka to a massive 267-run win over Bihar in a Vijay Hazare Trophy Elite Group C match at the Just Cricket Ground near here on Monday.

It was Karnataka’s biggest-ever victory margin (in runs), surpassing the 207 runs by which it beat Jammu & Kashmir at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in 2015-16.

Skipper Samarth was ably assisted, first by fellow opener Devdutt Padikkal (97, 98b, 8×4, 2×6) with whom he stitched a 153-run partnership, and later by K.V. Siddharth 76 (55b, 5×4, 4×6) as the home side posted 354. In reply, Bihar folded for a paltry 87, with speedster Prasidh Krishna claiming four wickets (6.1-3-17-4).

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Bihar, which elected to bowl, had initially kept the Karnataka batsmen in check, with the team 50 coming only at the end of the 14th over. But Samarth and Padikkal turned expansive after that, scoring the next 100 in under 15 overs.

Siddharth’s upped the rate even further, bringing up his half-century from just 35 balls and helping Karnataka plunder 104 runs in the last nine overs. Samarth at the other end reached his fifth List A ton off 117 deliveries.

In the afternoon, Prasidh and veteran fast bowler A. Mithun reduced Bihar to 13/5 with only opener Sakibul Gani resisting (37, 75b). That the next highest score was 13 extras told the story.

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