Bengaluru: Powered by a splendid century by opener Anmolpreet Singh following a fifer by Siddharth Kaul, Punjab trounced Karnataka by six wickets in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Bengaluru on Monday.
After bundling out Karnataka for a stiff 296, courtesy a five-wicket haul by pacer Kaul, it was Anmolpreet who stole the show with a pulverising knock of 138 in the elite group A tie at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Kaul wreaked havoc to return with fine figures of 5-41 and his scalps included Karun Nair, Kaunain Abbas, Shreyas Gopal, Aniruddha and T Pradeep.
The speedster was complimented well by Barinder Singh Sran (3-48), while veteran Yuvraj Singh and young leggie Mayank Markande picked up a wicket each.
For Karnataka, wicket-keeper-batsman B R Sharath top scored with 70, while skipper Manish Pandey (67), R Samarth (54) and Shreyas Gopal (37) also made noteworthy contributions.
But for Punjab, the chase was a walk in the park, with 20-year-old Anmolpreet scoring a blazing 138 off just 106 balls.
He also put on a huge 198-run stand for the opening wicket with Shubman Gill (77).
Anmolpreet, a right-handed batsman, smashed 12 fours and five hits over the fence, while Gill struck seven fours and a six.
The two hammered a listless Karnataka attack led by Abhimanyu Mithun.
After the two openers departed, Yuvraj Singh (38) and skipper Mandeep Singh (30) also played their part to perfection, but fell when the team was crusing towards the victory.
However, Punjab romped home with seven balls to spare.
At the other two Elite Group A games held in neighbouring Alur, in a low-scoring thriller Vidarbha defeated Goa by 1 run, while Maharashtra defeated Baroda by five wickets.
The quarter-finals for the tournament will start on 14 October, with the semi-finals on 17 and 18 October and the final on Saturday 20 October, all scheduled in Bengaluru.
Summarised scores: Karnataka 296 all out in 48.2 overs (B R Sharath 70, Manish Pandey 67, Siddharth Kaul 5-41) lost to Punjab 297/4 in 48.5 overs (Anmolpreet Singh 138, Shubman Gill 77, K Gowtham 1-49) by four wickets.
At Alur: Baroda 206/8 in 50 overs (Yusuf Pathan 64 not out, Krunal Pandya 52, Samad Fallah 3-21) lost to Maharashtra 207/5 in 44.3 overs (Naushad Shaikh 76 not out, Rohit Motwani 59, Atit Sheth 3-36) by five wickets.
Vidarbha 218 all out in 48.2 overs (Faiz Fazal 49, Atharva Taide 48, Darshan Misal 4-52) beat Goa 217/9 in 50 overs (Amit Verma 45, Suyash Prabhudessai 39, Darshan Nalkande 3-37) by one run.
Bihar storm into quarterfinals
Vadodara: Capping a successful return from an 18-year exile, Bihar stormed into the Vijay Hazare Trophy quarterfinals with a nine-wicket thrashing of Mizoram in Vadodara on Monday.
Bihar concluded the league stage with an unassailable 30 points and grabbed the solitary qualifying berth from the spot from the plate group.
Bihar captain Keshav Kumar (4/21) triggered the collapse before left-arm spinner Ashutosh Aman stole the limelight with scintillating figures of 4-2-2-3, as Mizoram folded for 83 in 27.2 overs after electing to bat at the Motibaug Stadium.
Bihar cruised home in 15.4 overs with opener Vikash Ranjan remaining unbeaten on 59 on the way to registering their seventh win from eight matches with one being a washout.
Bihar who last played Ranji Trophy plate group in the 2003-04 season returned to the domestic fold after a Supreme Court order in January this year.
At Nadiad, Uttarakhand registered a commanding 108-run win over Arunachal Pradesh but it was insufficient as they finished two points behind Bihar, having lost to them in the group league stage.
At Anand: Puducherry 324/5; 50 overs (Paras Dogra 136 not out, Rohit D 55, Abhishek Nayar 50) beat Meghalaya 250/5; 50 overs (Yogesh Nagar 109 not out) by 74 runs.
At Nadiad: Uttarakhand 264; 49.4 overs (Saurabh Rawat 67, Malolan Rangarajan 50; Sams Alam 2/39, Sandeep Thakur 2/41, Kshitiz Sharma 2/45) beat Arunachal Pradesh 156/9; 50 overs (Akhilesh Sahani 41; Rajat Bhatia 3/17, Malolan Rangarajan 2/12, Mayank Mishra 2/26) by 108 runs.
At Vadodara: Mizoram 83; 27.2 overs (Akhil Rajput 43; Keshav Kumar 4/21, Ashutosh Aman 3/2) lost to Bihar 87/1; 15.4 overs (Vikash Ranjan 59 not out) by nine wickets.