Rain spoils United party

Panthers escape with one point as battle for semifinal slots hots up

United -- one of the more improved sides this edition along with Shamanur Davangere Diamonds and Malnad Gladiators – were gunning for nothing less than two points to stay in contention for the three remaining spots in the semifinals, and were well on course to pocketing the points when heavy stop-start showers severely damaged their chances at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Monday.

 While United will feel hard done by, the Panthers should consider themselves lucky to have gotten away with one point.

Put in, the Panthers innings stuttered throughout before rains put an end to their torture. A fortuitous Manish Pandey (20 n.o., 27b, 2x4) hung on through the innings, but the right-hander was unable to pace the innings to his liking, the regular fall of wickets at the other end making his job no easier. The Panthers had ambled to 43 for four in 10.4 overs when the covers came on at 7.53 pm. With the cut-off time to resume the five-over match being 10.00 pm, the umpires called off play at 9.45 pm with the rains refusing to budge.

 The wash-out ensured United finished their league campaign with seven points, while Panthers, also on seven now, have a match in hand against defending champions Provident Bangalore on Tuesday. All is not lost for United who, with the best nett run-rate (0.57) in the eight-team league, still can sneak through to the semifinals, what with six teams in a do-or-die situation going into Tuesday’s last set of league matches.
With Mysore Maharaajas, Bijapur Bulls and Provident (all on six points) and Panthers in action on Tuesday along with the Diamonds, already in the semis, it will be touch and go for the semifinal aspirants.

Score Board

BELAGAVI PANTHERS: J Arun Kumar c Patel b Sequeria 6, Manish Pandey (not out) 20, Shyam Ponnappa c Pasha b Sequeria 0, Vinayak Uthappa b Patel 4, Vinay Kumar c Aleem b Patel 1, Stalin Hoover (not out) 7. Extras (W-5) 5. Total (for 4 wkts, 10.4 overs) 43.
Fall of wickets: 1-18 (Arun), 2-18 (Ponnappa), 3-26 (Uthappa), 4-28 (Vinay),
Bowling: S Arvind 2-0-8-0 (w-4), Azghar Pasha 2-0-6-0, Daniel Sequeria 3-0-9-2, Mohammad Aleem 1.4-0-12-0 (w-1), Udit Patel 2-0-8-2. 

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