Gladiators pip Brigadiers

Gladiators pip Brigadiers

Bhatkal scores composed 47 as youthful Malnad side dash home

Malnad Gladiators’ Raju Bhatkal drives one to the boundary during his knock of 47 against Bangalore Brigadiers on Saturday. DH Photo/ Srikanta Sharma R

Gladiators, the franchise that owns the most number of youngsters, showed a lot of maturity while chasing down 124. Raju Bhatkal was the chief architect of their victory, scoring a composed 47 (44b, 4x4). Brigadiers made 123 after their skipper Deepak Chougule opted to bat.

Another Gladiator lad, K Gowtham, too played a massive role in the victory taking three wickets with his part-time off-spin and then playing a brutal 24 (14b, 2x4, 2x6) that provided the initial spur to his team’s chase.

But without Bhatkal’s mellowed innings the win would not have been possible. The burly all-rounder was in complete control of the proceedings, marshalling the hunt with quick runs between the wickets and timely hits to the fence. Bhatkal and a sedate Ganesh Satish (31, 34b, 2x4) added 45 runs for the fourth wicket to steer Gladiators close to the target, and the former brought up the winning runs with a boundary off pacer M Vinod.
Earlier, Brigadiers struggled for momentum once Robin Uthappa departed, settling for a below par score. Their start was steady after promoted opener Steve Lazarus got out playing a tame fend off pacer KP Rohan to KP Appanna.

Uthappa and K L Rahul cut out all frills during their second-wicket association that yielded 64 precious runs. Their alliance, based on a commonsense approach, was significant from Brigadiers’ point of view because runs dried up once they were separated through a needless run out of Rahul.

Till then, Uthappa and his colleague had raised visions of a late charge, displaying a lot of pragmatism without letting the run-rate dip in the early stages of their innings. Uthappa, with scores of 0 and 5 in the two previous matches, understandably started with a lot of caution.

The Kodava lad dropped hints of an impending storm, thumping medium pacer Bhatkal over long-off for a six, following it up with a slog-swept six off Ryan Ninan. Rahul, on the other end, batted with fluency allowing Uthappa to play in a lower gear and find his touch.

However, the much-anticipated Uthappa blitz never arrived as a mistimed pull off offie Gowtham ended in the hands of Kunal Kapoor. The dismissal was accompanied by a serene period as Brigadiers managed only 28 runs in the last five overs.

DH News Service