Riding on blazing fifties by KL Rahul and skipper Manish Pandey, defending champions Karnataka thrashed Tamil Nadu by nine wickets to begin their Super League campaign in the T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019 on a winning note here on Thursday.
Karnataka chased a stiff 159-run target in just 16. 2 overs as Rahul (69 not out off 46 balls) and Pandey (52 not out off 33 balls) hammered a pedestrian Tamil Nadu attack in the premier domestic T20 tournament.
Rahul, who struck six boundaries and two sixes, stitched a 70-run stand with Devdutt Padikkal (36 off 20 balls) for the opening wicket to lay the foundation of the win.
After Padikkal fell in the seventh over, in-form Manish Pandey joined forces with Rahul and the two took the side home with utmost east.
Pandey, too, was seen in his usual aggressive manner, hammering five fours and three sixes, as they toyed with the opposition bowling attack at the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium here.
Earlier, put into bat, Tamil Nadu posted a decent 158/7 on the board with their skipper Dinesh Karthik leading from the front with a brisk 43 off 29 balls.
After the two openers Hari Chezhian (15) and Baba Aparajith (10) fell cheaply, Karthik steadied the ship with Washington Sundar (39 off 25 balls) with a 76-run stand.
However, Karnataka pegged back Tamil Nadu by taking three quick wickets, including that of Karthik and Sundar.
Then, a late onslaught by all-rounder Vijay Shankar helped the side near the 160-run mark.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 158/7 (Dinesh Karthik 43, Washington Sundar 39; Koushik Vasuki 2-23) lost to Karnataka 161/1 (K L Rahul 69 not out; Manish Pandey 52 not out; Ashwin Murugan 1-27) by nine wickets.