KSCA XI to take on Air India SC

Cricket KSCA Invitation final

It is in the fitness of things that the only two unbeaten teams in the competition should contest the title round. Under Sunil Joshi, KSCA XI have gone from strength to strength as the tournament has progressed, while last year’s runners-up Air India have relied on their powerful batting line-up to do the job for them.

Brimful of confidence after registering eight and nine-wicket wins respectively in their quarters and semis against KSCA Colts and KSCA President’s XI, KSCA XI will look for Vinay to again do the early damage against Air India. The right-arm medium-pacer has taken 13 wickets in four matches in the competition, and has been admirably supported by promising paceman A Mithun and all-rounder B Akhil. The spinners haven’t had too much to show -- apart from Joshi’s four-for in the first game of the tournament -- though they might have a role to play in the final.

KB Pawan has been the batting hero with three half-centuries and a 42 in four innings, while CM Gautam cracked an unbeaten 101 in the semis. If Manish Pandey, expected to return to the eleven after missing the semis, too can get his act together, KSCA XI should emulate their title-winning feat of 2007.

Needless to say, they will require all the runs they can muster against Air India, whose first three hits here yielded 523, 353 and 417. Sushanth Marathe has been outstanding, making two centuries and a 59 in his last three knocks, while Robin Uthappa too has been amongst the runs.

Air India, however, did struggle in the semifinals when they were asked to chase for the first time in the competition, losing six wickets in scraping past DY Patil Sports Academy’s modest 196. Maybe there is a message in it somewhere?

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