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Jaggi’s effort goes in vain

Ishank Jaggi, Robin Uthappa

Calcutta: It seemed to be a contest where the established almost got overshadowed by the aspiring. Ishank Jaggi’s breathtaking 121-ball 141 almost took the sheen away from Robin Uthappa’s magnificent 133, as Jharkhand looked well placed to chase down Karnataka’s imposing 323/6 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy semi-final tie, at the Jadavpur University Campus ground, on Friday.

But in the end, it was experience that prevailed as Karnataka carved out a 21-run win to earn themselves a final berth. It wasn’t a game-over like situation for Jharkhand post Jaggi’s departure, but from thereon, Karnataka slowly started gaining control of the match.inal over.

R Vinay Kumar and Co. find themselves on the threshold of bagging a treble, having already won the Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup. No wonder Karnataka were the favourites going into this game.

After Uthappa, egged on by the presence of his coach Praveen Amre, smashed the Rahul Shuklas and Jaskaran Singhs to all parts of the ground, Jharkhand, in their reply, gave it back to Karnataka, riding Jaggi’s terrific exhibition of strokeplay.

Both Uthappa and Jaggi were flawless with their knocks, but eventually, it boiled down to the support from the rest of their team.

Besides Uthappa, the in-form Lokesh Rahul (67) continued to impress. Mayank Agarwal (66), too, unleashed some delightful strokes, and put on a brisk 137-run opening stand with Uthappa.

The only way Jharkhand could separate the pair was through a run out, which happened in the 24th over when Ishan Kishan’s direct throw led to Mayank’s dismissal.

For Jharkhand, the second best individual score after Ishank’s 141 was the 47 from captain Saurabh Tiwary. Like their opponents, Jharkhand, too, got off to a fine start, as Jaggi and Kishan put on 72 at a run rate of six-an-over. But with Kishan struggling to rotate the strike, Jaggi had to do the bulk of the scoring.

Captain Vinay Kumar (4/ 75), though a bit expensive, came up with timely strikes. He first bowled a superb yorker to dismiss Virat Singh, breaking the second wicket partnership that was beginning to look threatening.

When the equation was still within Jharkhand’s reach — 64 runs off 44 balls — Vinay Kumar removed Kaushal Singh and Shahbaz Nadeem off successive deliveries that hurt Jharkhand’s rhythm.