Sports

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023, Semi-Final 2: Deepak Hooda's Magnificent 180 Sinks Karnataka, Takes Rajasthan Into Final

Rajasthan captain Deepak Hooda's century rescued his team from 23 for 3 in the second innings of the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023 semi-final. Hooda joined forces with Karan Lamba to chase down Karnataka's target of 283 with 38 balls to spare

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Deepak Hooda celebrates his century in the Vijay Hazare Trophy semi-final against Karnataka.
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Deepak Hooda played a captain's innings as he struck a magnificent 180 to help Rajasthan beat Karnataka by six wickets and enter the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Rajkot on Thursday.

Hooda's stupendous 128-ball knock was studded with 19 fours and five sixes as Rajasthan chased down the target of 283 with 38 balls to spare in the second semifinals.

Hooda, who is trying to return to India reckoning, found an able ally in Karan Lamba (73 not out off 112 balls) as the duo resurrected the Rajasthan innings after being reduced to 23 for 3 in the sixth over with a massive 255-run stand for the fourth wicket.

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Rajasthan will face Haryana in the final on Saturday. Haryana crushed five-time champions Tamil Nadu by 63 runs to enter their maiden Vijay Hazare final on Wednesday.

Coming in to bat in the second over itself after the departure of opener Ram Chouhan (0), Hooda was understandably cautious initially, as he took 23 balls to reach double digit score.

But once he and Lamba succeeded in steadying Rajasthan innings, Hooda launched on the hapless Karnataka bowlers in stunning fashion, punishing them to submission.

Lamba was the more aggressive of the two for a while but Hooda took upon himself the task of dismantling the opposition bowling with a flurry of fours and sixes.

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He reached his fifty in 52 deliveries but needed just another 33 balls to touch his hundred (85 balls) in the 30th over when the team score was 169 for 3.

By then Hooda had left Lamba far behind.

Hooda continued in the same vein and reached his 150 with a four in the 38th over. He took 108 balls to reach there.

Rajasthan were 260 for 3 at the end of the 40th over and their victory was a foregone conclusion by then as they needed just 17 runs from the last 10 overs. Hooda was out just five runs away from the target but by then he had done his job in a magnificent way.

For Karnataka, Vasuki Koushik, Vijaykumar Vyshak and Manoj Bhandage took a wicket apiece.

Earlier, lower-order batters Abhinav Manohar (91 off 80 balls) and Bhandage (63 off 39  balls) revived Karnataka innings after they were two down for 27 runs in the ninth over after they elected to bat first.

Manohar was involved in two big stands -- 89 runs with Manish Pandey (28) for the fifth wicket and 95 with Bhandage for the sixth wicket as he played the anchor role to take Karnataka past the 280-run  mark.

Manohar's fine knock was studded with 10 fours and three sixes.

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Bhandage gave final flourish to the Karnataka innings as his aggressive innings was laced with five sixes and three fours.

For Rajasthan, Aniket Choudhary and Kukna Ajay Singh grabbed two wickets apiece and they were  miserly also as each of them gave away 43 runs from their 10 overs.

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