Bangalore: A cracker of a contest was played in two identical batting parts. Both Bijapur Bulls and Mysore Maharaajas started well before losing their way. However in the end, the Maharaajas failed to cope with the chase and Bulls snatched a five-run victory in the Mantri KPL Twenty20 match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday.
Maharaajas needed 17 runs from the last over bowled by D.V. Anish but Adithya Sagar and K.M. Aiyappa left their team stranded at 151 for five in 20 overs while chasing Bulls’ 156 in 19.3 overs.
Maharaajas had got off to a confident start with H.T. Sudhir Rao (77, 56b, 10x4, 2x6) and Nitin Bhille (35) sharing a 96-run partnership in 12.3 overs.
Sudhir Rao moved his feet and lofted with ease as he clattered runs with Stuart Binny going for 4,4,6 in the initial phase. Sudhir suffered from cramps later and once runner Adithya Sagar stepped in, a few mix-ups hinted at trouble.
Both Bhille and Shoaib Manager were run out and with a tired Sudhir and captain C. Raghu finding fielders in the deep, the Maharaajas stumbled.
Losing its way
Earlier, the Bulls charged ahead before losing its way after captain Sudhindra Shinde opted to bat. Opener Gaurav Dhiman (69, 45b, 6x4, 3x6) set a scorching pace that got amplified once his partner Mithun Beerala holed out in the deep as Devraj Patil walked in and played a blinder (40, 18b, 5x4, 2x6).
Big-built Dhiman preferred his runs through huge-hits and seemed averse to the hard-run singles and twos but his ability to clear the ropes ensured that the scoreboard galloped.
Dhiman and Patil stepped on the accelerator in Chetan William’s lone over that went for 18 runs and while Dhiman preferred to stay rooted to the crease while swinging his arms, Devraj scattered the attack with his lofted shots and reverse sweeps, shots that also undid him.
Once the duo fell, the rest including Shinde seemed to suffer from a ‘death wish’ as disturbed stumps became a regular feature through two run outs and three ‘clean-bowleds’ while batsmen either scampered for non-existent runs or tried to cart C. Raghu (four for nine) and missed the line.
No easy going
Meanwhile on Wednesday, Bangalore Brigadiers, the most expensive team at Rs. 7.2 crore, found that there were no easy runs while defeating Belagavi Panthers by seven wickets.
Bangalore Brigadiers suffered a tough period while chasing Belagavi Panthers’ 92, as Robin Uthappa, just a day after remaining unbeaten on 157 for Air India (Red) in the Sahara BCCI Corporate Trophy tournament final, was dismissed for zero by seamer Vinay Kumar.
However, Bangalore Brigadiers turned it around, thanks to K.L. Rahul (29) and M. Vinod (36 n.o.). Victory was achieved with a six by captain Deepak Chougule. Bangalore Brigadiers reached the target in 16.1 overs losing three wickets.
Bijapur Bulls 156 in 19.3 overs (G. Dhiman 69, Devraj Patil 40, C. Raghu four for nine) bt Mysore Maharaajas 151 for five in 20 overs (Sudhir Rao 77, Nitin Bhille 35).
Belagavi Panthers 92 in 19 overs (M. Vinod four for 16) lost to Bangalore Brigadiers 96 for three in 16.1 overs (M. Vinod 36 n.o., K.L. Rahul 29).
Friday’s matches: Bijapur Bulls vs Malnad Gladiators; Bangalore Brigadiers vs Mangalore United.