Naidu comes to the party

Mangalore United’s skipper-stumper Rohit Sabharwall had dominated the first semifinal with an all-round show, and Naidu followed suit in the second last-four clash as the defending champions brushed Malnad Gladiators aside with ridiculous ease at the Chinnaswamy stadium.

Building on the fantastic platform provided by Naidu (44, 35b, 6x4, 1x6) and MK Manjunath, Provident made Gladiators’ seemingly competitive 157 for five appear remarkably anaemic, romping to a six-wicket victory with 16 deliveries to spare after piling up 158 for four.
Naidu, who had pulled off two smart stumpings in the afternoon, and Manjunath added 62 (56b) for the first wicket, and once the wicket-keeper was narrowly run out, skipper B Akhil took it upon himself to hasten the end, smashing his way to an unbeaten 45 (22b, 4x4, 3x6).

Akhil and Aniruddha Joshi (17, 7b, 2x4, 1x6) put on 47 in just 20 deliveries to round off a most commanding Provident performance.

Akhil’s decision to stick the opposition in bore instant dividend when Kunal Kapoor was run out in the second over, but S Sanjay Kumar batted with refreshing freedom on his way to a 39-ball 47 (5x4, 2x6). The Gladiators paced their innings well, keeping wickets in hand for a final assault that came through skipper Ganesh Satish (34, 27b, 4x4, 1x6) and Rajoo Bhatkal, who displayed excellent power-hitting while remaining unbeaten on 26 (12b, 4x4, 1x6).

The last five overs yielded 57 but that counted for little in the final analysis.

MALNAD GLADIATORS: Kunal Kapoor (run out) 3, S Sanjay Kumar c Aiyappa b Shetty 47, KC Avinash st Naidu b Joshi 21, Ganesh Satish c Ashraf b Akhil 34, K Gowtham st Naidu b Shetty 18, Rajoo Bhatkal (not out) 26, Nishanth Hegde (not out) 0. Extras (LB-5, W-3) 8. Total (for 5 wkts, 20 overs) 157.

Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Kapoor), 2-73 (Sanjay), 3-88 (Avinash), 5-125 (Gowtham), 5-153 (Satish).

Bowling: NC Aiyappa 3-0-30-0 (w-1), Anand Katti 3-0-22-0, B Akhil 4-0-33-1 (w-1), Sarfaraz Ashraf 4-0-25-0 (w-1), Aniruddha Joshi 2-0-24-1.

PROVIDENT BANGALORE: MK Manjunath c Kapoor b Bhatkal 30, Thilak Naidu (run out) 44, Amit Verma b Moinuddin 13, B Akhil (not out) 45, Aniruddha Joshi c & b Gowtham 17, Sunil Kumar Jain (not out) 4. Extras (B-1, LB-1, W-3) 5. Total (for 4 wkts, 17.2 overs) 158.
Fall of wickets: 1-62 (Manjunath), 2-81 (Naidu), 3-97 (Verma), 4-144 (Joshi).

Bowling: S Sanjay Kumar 3-0-11-0 (w-2), KP Rohan 2.2-0-19-0, K Gowtham 3-0-42-1 (w-1), SK Moinuddin 4-0-38-1, Rajoo Bhatkal 4-0-37-1, Sandesh Satish 1-0-9-0.

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