Chandigarh: Debutant off-spinner Vaisakh Chandran ripped through the Karnataka top order setting up a 53-run win for Kerala in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament at Mohali on Wednesday.
A blistering unbeaten 95 off 47 from Mohammed Azharuddeen had powered Kerala to 179/4 in the Group C encounter. In response, the Karnataka innings was restricted to 126/9 in 20 overs.
Karnataka had lost plot from the start with Vaisakh removing Devdutt Padikkal (9), Mayanak Agarwal (0) and Chethana (0) leaving them reeling at 10/3. He ended up with figures of 4/11.
Abhinav Manohar (46 not out) and Luvnith Sisodia (36) were the top run-getters for Karnataka.
Earlier, right-hander Azhar played a brilliant knock that contained eight fours and six sixes. In the 2020-21 edition of the tournament, he had smashed an unbeaten 137 off 54 balls against Mumbai. His ton had come up in 37 balls then.
Vishnu Vinod and Rohan Kunnummal had added 45 for the first wicket in six overs after Sachin Baby opted to bat.
Left-arm spinner J Suchith dismissed Rohan for 16 with the last ball of his first over. Suchith sent back Vishnu too. Vishnu made 34 off 27 balls, including three fours and a six.
Medium-pacer Vijaykumar Vyshak accounted for Sachin and Krishna Prasad. Both the batters fell for eight. Suchith picked up 2/25 off his four overs.
Kerala had outplayed Arunachal Pradesh by 10 wickets in their opening match, while Karnataka thrashed Maharashtra by 99 runs. Kerala next play Haryana on Friday (11 am).
Brief scores: Kerala 179/4 in 20 overs (Mohammed Azharuddeen 95 not out, Vishnu Vinod 34; J Suchith 2/25, Vijaykumar Vyshak 2/39) bt Karnataka 126/9 in 20 overs (Abhinav Manohar 46 not out, Luvnith Sisodia 36, Vaisakh Chandran 4/11, Midhun S 2/15)
Points: Kerala 4; Karnataka 0