Photo: BCCI

KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal kept Karnataka in full control and kept their side ahead in the Vijay Hazare Trophy final at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday before rain intervened and handed Tamil Nadu a 60-run loss via the VJD method.

Electing to field first, Karnataka bowled Tamil Nadu out for 252 with birthday boy Abhimanyu Mithun taking his maiden List A five-wicket haul, that included a hat-trick to wrap up the innings.

In response, Karnataka got off to a brisk start but lost their first wicket in the fifth over, which brought Agarwal to the crease to partner opener KL Rahul, who then dropped anchor.

Agarwal got going after he hit a maximum off Vijay Shankar in just the sixth delivery he faced and in the subsequent over, the tenth of the innings, smashed T Natarajan for three boundaries. He got a four off each of the next three overs and kept the scoreboard flowing as 37 runs came in a span of four overs at a run rate of nearly 10.

A second six by Agarwal off Washington Sundar behind square in the 15th over laid bare the 28-year-old's intent. Playing the aggressor, he soon brought up his fifty, taking 41 balls to do so. His third six came off fellow KXIP teammate Murugan Ashwin, sending it over deep square leg in the 22nd over.

Rahul brought up his fifty, with a typical sweetly-timed, glorious straight drive that went for four off M Mohammed, in 71 balls.

It was Rahul's third straight fifty after his efforts in the quarter- and semi-finals against Puducherry and Chhattisgarh respectively. It was the Kings XI Punjab duo's second straight winning partnership, this time unbeaten on 112 off just 111 balls, after their successful second-wicket stand in the semi-finals.

Karnataka managed 146/1 in 23 overs with Rahul on 52* (72b, 5x4s) and Agarwal piling 69* (55b, 7x4, 3x6s) and needed another 107 in the remaining 27 overs at a run rate of under four.

It was shortly after this that the skies darkened and rain fell, forcing the umpires to call off the match.

As per VJD for a single wicket at the stage, Karnataka needed only 87 runs on board, thus winning the match by 60 runs and claiming their fourth Vijay Hazare title.

It was Tamil Nadu's first loss in this year's tournament, having gone through 11 unbeaten games before the final.