Karun Nair leads Karnataka to U-22 Series win
Karun Nair emerged as the top scorer in the South Zone Inter State Under 22 Tournament as Karnataka lifted the trophy on Wednesday at Visakhapatnam.
Nair started the tournament on a strong note with two fifties and improved as the tournament progressed, Karnataka winning all their fixtures to end on top of the points table.
Karnataka’s third match, against Tamil Nadu U-22 saw his only failure with the bat as he was dismissed for just 20. But Shreyas Gopal’s 61 helped the team post 210. Nair bounced back in the defence, getting rid of the dangerous Baba Indrajith and R Rohit to derail the chase. He ended with figures of 4/54 and took two catches as Karnataka successfully defended the small total by 18 runs.
He followed it up with a ton in the next game against Andhra U-22, scoring a rapid 105 (90b, 15x4, 2x6) as Karnataka U-22 set Andhra a target of 281. Andhra U-22 managed just 263/8 in their 50 overs to lose the game by 17 runs.
His best though came in the last game against Hyderabad U-22. Nair ran rampant, scoring 135 (85b, 18x4, 4x6, SR 158.82) as Karnataka U-22 racked up a massive 346/6. He took a catch and led his team to a superb defence as Hyderabad were bowled out for 184, giving the team a huge 162 run win to sign off the series in style.
Karnataka’s 22 points in the series included 2 bonus points and placed them 5 points clear of the next best team, Tamil Nadu. Nair finished the series with 371 runs from 5 matches (2 fifties, 2 hundreds) at an average of 92.75, 6 wickets at an average of 20.33 and 4 catches, easily the standout performance of the tournament.