Jaipur, Dec 19: Karnataka rode on half-centuries from K V Siddharth (85 not out), skipper Manish Pandey (52 not out) and R Samarth (54) to sail into the quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy with a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Rajasthan here on Sunday.
Chasing 200 for victory in the pre-quarterfinal, Karnataka eased home with more than six overs to spare.
Earlier, sent in to bat, Rajasthan's total of 199 was built on a brilliant counter-attacking knock of 109 (nine fours and five sixes) by captain Deepk Hooda after the team slipped to 19 for 5.
Karnataka, bolstered by the return of K Gowtham, Devdutt Padikkal and Prasidh Krishna, had Rajasthan in all sorts of bother at 19 for 5 in the eighth over. Krishna struck the first blow, having the in-form Abhijeet Tomar, who has scored over 300 runs including a ton in the tournament, caught by Padikkal for 5.
Right-arm medium-pacer Vijaykumar Vyshak (4/22) scalped the next four wickets, including that of Mahipal Lomror (4), as Rajasthan was staring down the barrel, losing half the side in the eighth over.
Hooda, who had come in at the fall of the second wicket (Manender Singh), was joined by Samarpit Joshi and the duo began to rebuild. While the captain wasn't afraid to go for the big hits, Joshi (33 off 63 balls) gave him ample support. The two added 118 runs for the sixth wicket to give some hope to Rajasthan against a strong Karnataka side.
The team hundred came up in the 24th over as Hooda and Joshi began to play with confidence. Despite losing Joshi, Hooda continued to score runs and reached a well-deserved ton in 99 balls. He fell in the 41st over, stumped by S Sharath off leg-spinner Pravin Dubey (1/39) before Gowtham finished the innings off by dismissing Khaleel Ahmed (0).
Karnataka lost the talented Padikkal (4) to Kamlesh Nagarkoti (1/27) even as fellow opener Samarth started brightly with a few boundaries. Samarth and Siddharth added 75 runs in quick time to put Karnataka on the road to victory. Pandey then came up with an enterprising half-century and in the company of Siddharth added 100 for the third wicket to take the team home.
Pandey finished the match with a huge six off leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, who finished with none for 63 from 9.4 overs. Karnataka will take on Southern rival Tamil Nadu in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Brief scores: Rajasthan 199 all out in 41.4 overs (Deepak Jagbir Hooda 109, Samarpit Joshi 33, Vijaykumar Vyshak 4 for 22) lost to Karnataka 204 for 2 in 43.3 overs (K V Siddharth 85 not out, R Samarth 54, Manish Pandey 52 not out) by eight wickets.