Belagavi Panthers upset fancied Bangalore Brigadiers by 15 runs in the first semifinal of the Mantri Karnataka Premier League at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Tuesday evening. Needing 160 for a berth in the final, Brigadiers could mange only 144 in 20 overs.
Brigadiers struggled to put its best foot forward as openers C.B. Karthik and Nishant Shekhawat failed to build on their starts while a subdued Robin Uthappa (nine) found a tumbling Vinay Kumar at long-on.
Big-hitting Steve Lazarus gave the charge to Ramling Patil and found Manish Pandey’s palms and the batting horrors continued as skipper Deepak Chougule dragged his back-foot forward, while Vinay Uthappa whipped off the bails.
A revival of sorts was soon enacted as M. Vinod (47, 27b, 5x4, 2x6) along with David Mathias (20) shared a 41-run sixth-wicket partnership off 25 deliveries. However, with Panthers’ skipper J. Arun Kumar turning the clock back while sprinting away from backward point to catch Vinod and Pandey pouching Mathias on the square-leg fence, seamer David Johnson (four for 38) exulted.
Meanwhile, Johnson’s ally, seamer Vinay Kumar, went wicketless, but his figures of 4-0-9-0 proved to be a masterly display of control and guile as he confounded batsmen while bounding in off a long run-up to bowl an off-break while a three-step run-up often unleashed a swinging yorker.
Vinay’s spells topped up his earlier sparkling 54 with the bat and helped him win the Man-of-the-Match award.
Earlier Arun’s 60 (36b, 5x4, 4x4) and Vinay’s 54 (40b, 3x4, 3x6) helped Panthers score 159 for seven in 20 overs. Opener Arun watched his celebrated partner Pandey walk back with a tame pull. But along with Vinay, he batted with freedom while striking some clean hits down the ground.
Arun waded in to Mathias, striking the seamer for four, a hooked six and then a straight six over long-on. Meanwhile, Vinay, revelling in his promotion to No. 3, hoisted seasoned seamer Mansur Ali Khan and greeted left-arm spinner Vinu Prasad with a six.
The duo’s dismissals however slowed the tempo with just 59 runs coming in the last nine overs but in the end it did not prove costly.
The scores: Semifnals: Belagavi Panthers 159 for seven in 20 overs (J. Arun Kumar 60, R. Vinay Kumar 54, Vinay Uthappa 32) bt Bangalore Brigadiers 144 in 20 overs (M. Vinod 47, D. Johnson four for 38).
Monday’s night match: Provident Bangalore 156 for four in 20 overs (T. Naidu 43, A. Verma 41, B. Akhil 41) bt Mysore Maharaajas 146 in 19.1 overs (S. Rao 32, C. William 29, S. Ashraf four for 20).