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Gladiators ends with a bang

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TIME TO CELEBRATE: Malnad Gladiators’ Ryan Ninan (right) celebrates with his teammates after taking a wicket.
TIME TO CELEBRATE: Malnad Gladiators’ Ryan Ninan (right) celebrates with his teammates after taking a wicket.

Principal Correspondent

MYSORE: The Provident Bangalore batsmen sleep-walked against spin as Malnad Gladiators registered an eight-wicket victory in a Mantri Karnataka Premier League match at the Gangothri Glades ground here on Sunday.

After the spinners — skipper Ryan Ninan (four for 19) and K. Gowtham (two for 12) — restricted Provident to 108 for nine in 20 overs, Gladiators scored 109 for two in 17.2 overs to salvage some pride while finishing with four points from seven matches.

Gladiators’ victory also forced Provident (eight points) to wait for its last league match against Mysore Maharaajas (6) on Monday to get a clear picture of a semifinal berth.

Kunal bats well

Gladiators, despite the false start when Ganesh Satish rocked back and knocked down his stumps, marched ahead through Kunal Kapoor’s unbeaten 62 (51b, 5x4, 2x6).

Kunal’s innings began on a sedate note and finished with the winning six off seamer N.C. Aiyappa.

Earlier, the Provident batsmen seemed in a tearing hurry as they rushed their shots against the seamers and played across the line to spin.

Ninan tweaked his off-breaks while the fielders largely stayed agile.

Only Sunil Kumar Jain’s workmanlike innings (57 n.o., 57b, 3x4) and his association with last-man Arjun Shetty dragged the score past 100.

Panthers in the hunt

In the morning session, Belagavi Panthers kept its semifinal hopes alive after defeating Shamanur Davangere Diamonds by eight wickets.

Panthers finished its league matches with eight points and its progress to the last four stage will be determined by the outcome of the other matches.

Chasing Diamonds’ 119 for nine in 17 overs, Panthers made 122 for two in 15.1 overs with Manish Pandey (55 n.o., 43b, 2x4, 3x6) and Shyam Ponnappa (44) anchoring the chase with aplomb. Pandey and Ponnappa displayed moving feet and swinging arms to negate the lone threat — rival captain Sunil Joshi — to ensure their team’s return to winning ways.

No sparkle

Earlier, after damp conditions forced a 17-over per side encounter, Diamonds failed to get going as the seamers Vinay Kumar (two for 25) and R. Madhusudan (three for 23) grabbed the wickets.

K. Bipin (34) and Joshi (31) offered some resistance, but in the end, Diamonds’ fourth loss from six matches snuffed out its hopes of qualifying for the semifinal.

The League will shift to Bangalore from Monday.

The scores:

Provident Bangalore 108 for nine in 20 overs (S.K. Jain 57 n.o., R. Ninan four for 19) lost to Malnad Gladiators 109 for two in 17.2 overs (Kunal Kapoor 62 n.o.).

Shamanur Davangere Diamonds 119 for nine in 17 overs (K. Bipin 34, S. Joshi 31, R. Madhusudan three for 23) lost to Belagavi Panthers 122 for two in 15.1 overs (M. Pandey 55 n.o., S. Ponnappa 44).

Monday’s matches (at Bangalore): Bangalore Brigadiers vs Shamanur Davangere Diamonds (3.30 p.m.); Provident Bangalore vs Mysore Maharaajas (7.15 p.m.).

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