Bulls ride high on Dhiman

Mysore Maharaajas lose by five runs in thriller


The Bulls overcame a mid-innings slumber to post 156, Gaurav Dhiman and Devraj Patil leading the way with excellent knocks after skipper Sudhindra Shinde opted to bat.

The total looked woefully inadequate as Maharaajas openers HT Sudhir Rao and Nitin Bhille milked 96 in 12.3 overs, but Bhille’s dismissal hindered their progress, as they managed only 151.

Sudhir (77, 56b, 10x4, 2x6) made light of a cramp, producing an innings full of style and maturity but he could not help his team race past the target as he could find any meaningful support once Bhille departed. It boiled down to 17 runs from the last over, and the task was too much for nervous Maharaajas players. Earlier, Bulls steamed ahead after the early loss of Mithun Beerala. Patil (40, 18b, 5x4, 2x6) and Dhiman resembled an unstoppable steamroller while adding 54 for the second wicket in just over eight overs. A score near or even in excess of 200 looked a realistic possibility then.

Patil was the enforcer, mixing orthodoxy, aggression and innovation to produce an 18-ball stunner. There was an arrogant slam over mid-wicket off Chetan William, a delicate late cut off C Raghavendra and a breathtaking reverse sweep off the same bowler that sped to the ropes. However, it was Dhiman (69, 45b, 6x4, 3x6) who started the fireworks early on with some beefy blows. His method is very uncomplicated, hit the ball as strong as possible and the strategy worked well for him on the day.

C Raghu tried different bowlers to fetch the second breakthrough, but the run glut continued unabated. Finally, the ultra-aggression of Patil led to his doom. His attempt to reverse-sweep left-arm spinner Raghavendra ended in the hands of Shoaib Manager, and the Maharaajas breathed easy.

Patil’s dismissal seemed to push Dhiman into a dilemma as he suddenly struggled to time his shots. Just as he seemed to find a second wind, Dhiman lost his wicket with Bhille effecting a smart stumping off Raghu to stem the run flow.

Thereafter it was a struggle for Bulls as they lost wickets at regular intervals including that of hard-hitting Stuart Binny, but fortunately their bowlers came up with a tight effort.

Score board

BIJAPUR BULLS: Gaurav Dhiman st Bhille b Raghu 69, Mithun Beerala c Raghu b Manoj 5, Devraj Patil c Manager b Raghavendra 40, Stuart Binny c Sudhir b Kazi 15, Sudhindra Shinde (run out) 4, Praveen Kumar c Pawan b Manager 1, Jai Prakash Shetty b Raghu 5, Surendra Prasad b Raghu 1, Mohammad Arif (run out) 1, DV Anish (not out) 6, Daniel Liao (run out) 2. Extras (LB-1, W-4, NB-1) 6. Total (all out, 19.3 overs) 156.

Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-79, 3-113, 4-138, 5-140, 6-145, 7-147, 8-148, 9-149.
Bowling: Aditya B Sagar 3-0-19-0, KH Manoj 3-0-29-1, Chetan William 1-0-18-0, C Raghavendra 4-0-28-1, Abrar Kazi 4-0-34-1, Shoaib Manager 2-0-19-1, C Raghu 2.3.-0-9-4.

MYSORE MAHARAAJAS: Nitin Bhille (run out) 35, HT Sudhir Rao c Prasad b Binny 77, Shoaib Manager (run out) 0, C Raghu c Akshay b Binny 15, KB Pawan st Bhille b Anish 1, KM Aiyappa (not out) 4, Aditya B Sagar (not out) 12. Extras (LB-1, W-6) 7. Total (for 5 wkts, 20 overs) 151.

Fall of wickets: 1-96, 2-96, 3-130, 4-134, 5-136.
Bowling: Mohammad Arif 2-0-21-0, DV Anish 4-0-18-1, JP Shetty 3-0-23-0, Stuart Binny 3-0-28-2, Daniel Liao 4-0-35-0, Praveen Kumar 4-0-25-0.

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