Hazare Trophy: Hat-trick hero Mithun sets up Karnataka's title triumph

Memorable game
Abhimanyu Mithun celebrated his birthday in style. File photo: AFP

Bengaluru: K L Rahul presented himself as a potent wicketkeeper-batsman option with a strong show while birthday-boy Abhimanyu Mithun savoured a rare hat-trick as Karnataka lifted the Vijay Hazare Trophy title with a 60-run win via VJD method over Tamil Nadu in the rain-hit final, here on Friday.

Rahul remained in the thick of things after hosts elected to field under overcast conditions, contributing in dismissal of four Tamil Nadu batsmen.

Mithun returned his first ever five-wicket haul in List A games, which included a hat-trick in the final over of the innings. He cleaned up M Shahrukh Khan, M Mohammed and Murugan Ashwin as Tamil Nadu folded for 252 in 49.5 overs.

The MSK Prasad-led selection panel on Thursday picked Rahul in India's Twenty20 squad for the Bangladesh series along with Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson.

Prasad said they are willing to give Pant a long rope despite his below-par show of late but Rahul by keeping the wickets in the semifinal and final has made a case for himself, looking at the future.

His batting talent has never been doubted and in the final, which had to be called off due to rain, Rahul scored an unbeaten 52 off 72 balls in Karnataka's total of 146/1 in 23 overs.

He lost his opening partner Devdutt Paddikal (11), but added 112 with Mayank Agarwal for the second wicket, keeping Karnataka ahead all the time in the contest.

It will be interesting to see if Rahul can go the Rahul Dravid way as the latter emerged a wicketkeeper-batsman after the 1999 World Cup, where had to keep wickets because of an injury to Nayan Mongia but from 2002 became a regular keeper-batsman, giving much needed balance to India's one-day side under Sourav Ganguly.

Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 252 in 49.5 overs (Abhinav Mukund 85, Baba Aparajith 66; Abhimanyu Mithun 5/34) lost to Karnataka 146/1 in 23 overs (Mayank Agarwal 69 not out, K L Rahul 52 not out). Karnataka won by 60 runs via VJD method

The VJD method is a method of calculating target scores in rain-truncated limited overs cricket matches, devised by Keralite V Jayadevan. 

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