Mayank Agarwal's second century in the Vijay Hazare Trophy guided Karnataka to a resounding win over Odisha. © Wisden India

Mayank Agarwal’s second century in the Vijay Hazare Trophy guided Karnataka to a resounding win over Odisha. © Wisden India

Centuries from Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair at the top of the order and J Suchith’s five-wicket haul guided Karnataka to a resounding 133-run win over Odisha in their Group A tie in the Vijay Hazare Trophy all-India 50-over tournament at the Karnataka State Cricket Association ground in Alur on Tuesday (February 13). 

In other Group A games, Baroda defeated Railways by 192 runs and Punjab beat Assam by 69 runs. In Group B, Bengal thrashed Tripura, Kerala stunned Delhi and the game between Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra was abandoned without a ball being bowled. 

Back in Alur, R Vinay Kumar’s men piled a mammoth 353 for 6 from 50 overs after being put into bat and bowled Odisha out for 220 in 41 overs. 

Coming into the game following a narrow loss against Punjab, Karnataka needed to up the ante, and they did so in style. Mayank, who had a dream run in the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy season, joined hands with Nair at the top and annihilated Odisha’s bowling. The duo added 190 runs with Mayank scoring 102 from 94 balls with two sixes and ten fours. Nair added 100 from 111 deliveries with 12 fours.

Odisha would have felt a wave of relief when Suryakant Pandit got rid of Mayank in the 31st over, and eventually joy as Deepak Behera accounted for Nair and R Samarth (11). Unfortunately for Odisha, Karnataka’s batting prowess extends to No. 8, and the opposition bore the brunt of it.

Pavan Deshpande slapped an unbeaten 54 from 37 balls, while K Gowtham contributed with 47 from 20 deliveries. Even Shreyas Gopal got in on the act with 25 from 18 balls. 

Suchith was the lowest scorer in Karnataka’s innings with a zero, but he more than made up for it with his left-arm spin.

Odisha were expected to crumble from the pressure of chasing such a big total, but they didn’t, not to begin with at least. Rajesh Dhuper (53) and Anurag Sarangi (58) came up with half-centuries each to lay an ideal platform. 

Gowtham (2/38), however, scalped both the openers to leave Odisha with a void that was only about to get bigger. Suchith picked up five of the remaining nine wickets, and even affected one run-out. Shreyas finished with two wickets, while Behera was the unbeaten batsmen on 20. 

Suchith’s figures of 5 for 34 from 10 overs, including a maiden, were his best figures in 12 List-A games.