Akhil's 86 propels KSCA XI

Akhil's 86 propels KSCA XI

Cricket: KSCA Invitation meet: Thilak Naidu, Joshi come up with crucial knocks

GOOD KNOCK: KSCA XI ‘s B Akhil in full cry en route to his 86 against ONGC in Bangalore on Thursday. DH photo

Electing to bat against ONGC, KSCA XI were in all sorts of trouble at 144 for six, but Akhil hammered a quick fifty (86, 111m, 95b, 8x4, 1x6) and shared a 105-run alliance for the seventh wicket with his skipper Sunil Joshi to guide the hosts to a formidable position in the KSCA Invitation tournament at the M Chinnaswamy stadium. The home team finished their innings at 324 with VS Thilak Naidu’s even fifty building the initial platform.

The total would not have been possible but for the remarkable rearguard action of the Akhil-Joshi combine. The pitch was not an easy one to bat on as the odd ball kept low while some others kicked up off the pitch. Along with good technique, immense concentration too was required to make runs on the day, and Akhil showed he had both.

The onslaught of Akhil and the stubbornness of Joshi might have surprised the ONGC bowlers who till then were in complete control of the proceedings. The double-natured pitch and a string of spot-on spinners did not bother Akhil as he went about his task unperturbed.

With Joshi too joining the party with some powerful hits, KSCA innings, till then resembling a cycle running on flat tyres, suddenly sprang to life. Just as the partnership was blooming into something bigger, Joshi got out, offering a simple catch to substitute Rahul Tewadia at deep midwicket off Praveen Gupta, after making a precious 45 (111m, 65b, 6x4).

Akhil marshalled the tailenders around him well but he gave a tame return catch to left-arm spinner Gupta, the most successful bowler for ONGC (31-8-93-4), to start his walk back to the pavilion.

At 293 for eight KSCA  required some more runs to further strengthen their total. Lower order batsmen R Vinay Kumar (23) and Udit Patel (20) smashed bowlers around to take their score past the 300-run mark.

Before Akhil and Joshi rescued them, KSCA were  in deep trouble. The home side made a positive beginning with openers K B Pawan and CM Gautam adding 41 runs before Praveen jettisoned the latter.

A mini collapse followed as Bharath Chipli and Manish Pandey returned without anything substantial against their names. After the shaky period, Pawan and Naidu (50, 126m, 86b, 2x4) joined forces to take KSCA to 90 for three before Pawan fell to left-arm spinner Manan Sharma. It was the turn of Naidu and Chougule to battle it out and the duo did a good job, steadying the innings with a 54-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

At that juncture, it seemed the KSCA XI would traverse some more distance without anymore setbacks, but Naidu and Chougule fell in quick succession reducing them to 144 for six. Fortunately, KSCA found two willing soldiers in Akhil and Joshi.

DH News Service

Brief scores: KSCA (T): KSCA XI: 324 all out in 97.3 overs (KB Pawan 42, VS Thilak Naidu 50, B Akhil 86, Sunil Joshi 45; Suhail Sharma 3-82, Praveen Gupta 4-93) vs ONGC.

RWT: Air India SC: 353 all out in 96.2 overs (Sushanth Marathe 178; NC Aiyappa 2-53, S Aravind 4-44, C Raghu 2-43) vs  KSCA President’s XI.

NRA: TNCA: 180 all out in 50.2 overs (Arun Karthick 72; Sanjosh Jena 3-50, Bibhudutta Panda 3-35, Paresh Patel 3-30) vs OCA: 106/4 in 47 overs (Subit Baswal (batting) 39). JIRS: Dr DY Patil CA: 296/6 in 80 overs (Sarvesh Damble 65, Iqbal Abdulla (batting) 55) vs  KSCA Colts (Match reduced to 90 overs a side).

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