Chowgule fashions Karnataka's big win, helps retain title

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Chennai, Mar 3 (UNI) Middle order batsman Deepak Chowgule's unbeaten century (111 not out) and breezy half centuries by B Akhil (75) and C Raghu (54) helped defending champions Karnataka retain the title in the South zone Ranji trophy limited overs cricket tournament for K Subbaiah Pillai trophy defeating Hosts Tamil Nadu by five wickets here today.

Karnataka, who topped the table, hald already qualified along with Tamil Nadu for the All India knock out phase of the tournament for the Premier Cup which is scheduled to be held in Visakhapatnam next month.

Deepak Chowgule's brilliant effort overshadowed left hander R Ramkumar's century, which was largely instrumental in Tamil Nadu's big total of 289 for nine in 50 overs.

The chase was not that rosy initially as the visitors lost in-form Bharat Chipli (12), who scored two centuries in the tournament, C Gowtham (nine) and Vinay Kumar (five) and were tottering at 33 for three in 5.5 overs. Medium pacer Yo Mahesh did most of the initial damage with a two-wicket burst.

Deepak Chouwgule stepped in not only to steady the innings, but also played some attractive shots as Karnataka overhauled the target with 2.4 overs to spare.

Karnataka finished at 293 for five in 47.2 overs and maintained their clean slate with 22 points. Tamil Nadu finished as the second best team with 18 points.

First Deepak added 110 in 104 balls for the fourth wicket with Akhil (72 balls, 8x4, 1x6) and another 101 in 112 balls with skipper Raghu (59 balls, 5x4), before wicket-keeper Devraj Patil struck three fours in his 17-ball unbeaten 20 to set up a quick finish.

Deepak Chowgule hit 13 fours in his 115 ball essay.

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