Bangalore, August 17: Ballari Tuskers used as many as six bowlers to exploit a slow strip at the M Chinnaswamy stadium to edge out Belagavi Panthers in their Redmi Karnataka Premier League contest on Saturday (August 17).
After Shivamogga Lions made short work of Hubli Tigers in the day’s first encounter, it was Tuskers’ turn to shine in the event powered by Dream11.
Despite Devdutt Padikkal’s half-century and a couple of crucial cameos from Abhishek Reddy and CM Gautam, the Tuskers, who were put into bat, compiled only 144 for 5 in 20 overs.
Panthers would have fancied their chances, but a sticky wicket restricted Mir Kaunian Abbas’ men to 138 for 8 in 20 overs. But they didn’t go down without a fight, one which was inspired by Abhinav Manohar (26), Ritesh Bhatkal (27) and Shubhang Hedge (14).
Keeping rain in mind, Gautam, the Panthers’ skipper, won the toss and opted to bowl first. The pitch, although significantly less moist than it was in the first game, was still a tough one to pick up runs on, forcing Tuskers’ opening set of batsmen to dink it about.
Abhishek played some stunning strokes but ate up 33 balls to get to 35. Gautam was scratchy and managed 27 from 25, but he added a crucial 57 runs for the third-wicket with Padikkal. Only Padikkal, who was dropped on 42 by Zahoor Farooqui, was able to open up and get some quick runs under his belt.
Panthers found the going tough from the start and their woes left them reeling at 54 for five inside 11 overs. Abhinav Manohar and Ritesh Bhatkal (26) alleviated the situation by adding 57 runs for the sixth-wicket, but Prasiddh Krishna’s pace and KP Appanna’s intelligence, respectively, put an end to the alliance.
Panthers were now left with 31 runs to win from 18 balls. Shubhang nailed a few big hits to bring the equation down to 13 from the final over.
K Gowtham, with all his experience, ended’s Shubhang Hegde’s 7-ball 14-run blitz, and went on to concede just seven runs in the last six deliveries of the game.
Ballari Tuskers 143 for 4 in 20 overs (Abhishek Reddy 35, Devdutt Padikkal, CM Gautam 27; Zahoor Farooqui 2-28) beat Belagavi Panthers (Abhinav Manohar 26, Ritesh Bhatkal 27; Prasiddh Krishna 2-26, K Gowtham 2-32, Bhavesh Gulecha 2-15) by five runs.