Kolkata: Skipper Vinay Kumar grabbed a five-wicket haul after Robin Uthappa and Karun Nair hit individual centuries to lead Karnataka's recovery and guide the team to a 27-run win over Gujarat in their quarter-final match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Vinay Kumar returned figures of five for 85 in his 12 overs to dismiss Gujarat for 274 in 48.2 overs. Karnataka had scored 301 for seven in 50 overs after being invited to bat at the Jadavpur University Complex ground. Karnataka were struggling at 31/4 in the eighth over before opener Uthappa (132 not out) and Nair (120) put up a marvellous batting effort and stitched a 209-run partnership.
Uthappa faced 135 balls and hit 10 fours and three sixes, while youngster Nair hit 14 boundaries and a six in his 121-ball knock, which turned out to be his maiden List A century. The duo consolidated the partnership after Jasprit Bumrah (4/58) and Kamlesh Thakor (2/57) claimed two wickets apiece to rattle Karnataka.
Bumrah and Thakor removed top-order batsmen - Mayank Aggarwal (0), Manish Pandey (8), Ganesh Satish (0) and K L Rahul (0). Gujarat, in reply, lost early wickets as the top-order batsmen failed to stitch big partnerships. Pacer Abhimanyu Mithun picked three batsmen, including Venugopal Rao (15) to dent Gujarat's run-chase.
Rujul Bhatt made 67 and Akshar Patel scored a quick-fire 93 as the duo added 139 runs to raise Gujarat's hopes of overhauling the target after they were 75 for four in 16.2 overs. Gujarat required 88 off 68 balls when the fifth-wicket stand between the two ended, courtesy Bhatt's run-out.
Rohit Dahiya (30 off 23) hit some lusty blows but Vinay Kumar skittled the lower-middle order. Patel smashed 12 fours in his 78-ball knock while Bhatt's innings came off 93 balls and included three fours. Karnataka will face the winners of Services and Jharkhand in the semifinals, which will be held on March 14 at the same venue.
Brief Scores: Karnataka 301/7; 50 overs (Robin Uthappa 132 not out, Karun Nair 120; Jasprit Bumrah 4/58) b Gujarat 274; 48.2 overs (Akshar Patel 93, Rujul Bhatt 67; R Vinay Kumar 5/85, Abhimanyu Mithun 3/51) by 27 runs.