Mayank and Pandey stars as Karnataka advances to the next stage of the inter state T-20 tournament



A comfortable 9 wicket victory over Andhra in the final league fixture of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament powered Karnataka to the top of the standings among South Zone teams and qualify for the next stage of the tournament. Karnataka rode on a 135-run unbeaten partnership between in form Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul. After bowling out Andhra for 130, Karnataka chased down the target in 18.1 overs.
Needing 131 runs to win, Karnataka lost opener Manish Pandey who was outstanding with the bowl in the first over. However, Mayank and Rahul saw through a tight spell from Andhra's opening bowlers KS Shahabuddin and T Atchuta Rao scoring just five runs an over in the initial five overs. Once past that period, there was no stopping either batsmen as they scored runs with considerable ease. Mayank followed up his century in the previous match with an unbeaten 75 (60 balls, 9 fours), while Rahul scored 60 off 47 balls and hit four boundaries and two huge sixes.
Earlier in the day, Andhra were asked to bat on a pitch that offered some assistance to the bowlers. The Karnataka bowlers were outstanding, bowling with good pace and generating good bounce from the surface and fielded brilliantly too. Though they were guilty of dropping a few catches, they did not let the visitors get away. B Sumanth's 30 was the top-score in the innings, while opener KS Bharat (25) and skipper AG Pradeep (29) were the other important contributors. The 42-run partnership between Sumanth and Pradeep for the fourth wicket was the highest partnership in the innings. Andhra were eventually bowled out off the last delivery of the innings with 130 runs on the board.
For Karnataka, Manish Pandey was the most successful bowler with his second consecutive four wicket haul, while Stuart Binny, R Vinay Kumar, SL Akshay and Abhimanyu Mithun all chipped in with a wicket each.
The other team to qualify from South zone along with Karnataka was Kerala who beat Goa and finished second,2 points less than Karnataka.
Brief Scores:
Andhra: 130 in 20.0 Overs [B Sumanth 30, AG Pradeep 29 Manish Pandey 4-27]
Karnataka: 136-1 in 18.1 Overs [Mayank Agarwal 75*, KL Rahul 60*]
Result: Karnataka won by 9 wickets.

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