Karnataka returned to contention with a seven-wicket victory against reigning champion Mumbai in a Vijay Hazare Trophy Elite Group B match at the KCA Stadium in Murukkumpuzha on Saturday.

On a difficult pitch, Karnataka’s opener R.Samarth (96 not out) displayed great patience and discipline to lead the team to victory. The opening wicket partnership of Samarth and Rohan Kadam (44) totalled 95 runs, laying the foundation for the victory. Mumbai needed to take advantage of the half-chances on a pitch that aided the slow bowlers enough to defend a modest total of 208. When wicketkeeper Hardik Tamore missed a stumping opportunity from Tanush Kotian with Samarth on 21, Mumbai paid the price. To create a match-winning stand, the Karnataka openers were unhurried and punished the odd poor ball.

K.V.Siddharth (17) and Manish Pandey (5) were bowled in rapid succession by leg spinner H.Solanki, but Karan Nair (39 not out) counterattacked and, along with Samarth, who played more smoothly after hitting his fifty, accelerated the end.

Earlier, Mumbai squandered a promising start from Yashasvi Jaiswal (61) and Armaan Jaffer (43) who put on 95 runs for the first wicket. The Karnataka spinners slowed the run rate in the middle overs with their nagging line, and the limited turn on offer pushed the hitters to be cautious. Suryakumar Yadav lied to deceive, and Mumbai lost wickets at regular intervals to finish on 208 for nine.

The Tamil Nadu juggernaut rolled uncontested at Sports Hub, as the side thrashed Bengal by 146 runs to win for the third time in a row. Tamil Nadu recovered from a 55-run deficit to produce a difficult total of 295. Dinesh Karthik led the recovery with an 87-run innings that included crucial partnerships with B. Indrajith (64) and J. Koushik (50). Tamil Nadu finished with an impressive score with Shahrukh Khan’s (33) late flourish. After losing opener Shreevats Goswami early in the game, Bengal was never in contention. In the middle overs, the spinners took regular wickets, while medium pacers R.Silambarasan (4/28) and Sandeep Warrier (2/30) returned to finish off the tail and complete the rout.