Pandey's ton powers Panthers

Cricket: Mantri KPL: Right-hander smashes first century of the meet

MEATY BLOW: Belagavi Panthers’ Manish Pandey takes the aerial route during his ton. DH PHOTO/ SRIKANTA SHARMA R

Pandey’s hundred (112 n.o, 62b, 14x4, 3x6) and a forceful fifty from Shyam Ponnapa (71, 44b, 2x4, 6x6) were the highlights of Panthers’ daunting 201 for two in 20 overs. In reply, Mangalore made 188 for seven.

Panthers were lucky with the toss once again, and the Belgaum outfit made no change to the routine of opting to bat, though skipper/coach J Arun Kumar could not repeat the fireworks of the previous two matches.

However, Pandey more than made up for Arun’s early dismissal, dishing out a superb innings. It is quite easy to paint a T20 innings in the colours of brazenness, but those who were present will take home a different picture -- the image of a natural talent producing a classy knock laced with attractive shots around the park. 
Pandey, the first Indian to strike a century in Indian Premier League, has played some cameos earlier in this tournament, and on a sunny evening he translated hints into reality.

The bowling was not of the most storied type, but Pandey showed immense focus in destroying them.

An innings of such a nature will have an array of glittering shots, and man of the match Pandey’s knock was no exception.

An inside out cover drive off pacer S Arvind and a blazing hit off Udit Patel over long-on reflected his comfort against both spin and pace on the day. But his hundred came in a rather sedate manner, a brace off Arvind that sent the Panthers camp into delirium.

Ponnappa, who got a life on 12, too deserves a good chunk of credit for propelling Panthers to a total that was always going to be tough to chase.

The right-hander’s innings was more of the T20 nature, full of big and daring hits, and the number of sixes – six – in his innings will manifest that. Pandey and Ponnappa added a whopping 160 runs for the second wicket off a mere 87 balls to knock the stuffing out of United.

Mangalore were always against the wind while chasing a target of such proportions, but they hunted with spirit though the regular fall of wickets hampered their progress.

A quick fifty from opener Rohit Sabarwal (51, 31b, 7x4, 2x6) and Udit Patel’s 38 (21b, 4x6) bridged the gap considerably, but it was not United’s day.

Score Board

BELAGAVI PANTHERS:

J Arun Kumar c Sinan b Moinuddin 9, Manish Pandey (not out) 112, Shyam Ponnappa (run out) 71, R Vinay Kumar (not out) 5. Extras (LB-1, W-3) 4. Total (for 2 wkts, 20 overs) 201.

Fall of wickets: 1-34, 2-194.

Bowling: S Arvind 4-0-33-0, Azgar Pasha 3-0-47-0, SK Moinuddin 3-0-27-1, Udit Patel 4-0-36-0, R Jonathan 4-0-35-0, Sinan Abdul Qadir2-0-22-0.

MANGALORE UNITED:

Rohit Sabarwal st Uthappa b Patil 51, Nikhil Haldipur c Arun b Johnson 11, Bharath Chipli st Uthappa b Patil 25, R Jonathan c Sampath b Sayed 1, Udit Patel b Vadeyaraj 38, SN Ameet st Uthappa b Sayed 1, Vijay Chavan (not out) 15, Azgar Pasha b Vinay 15, S Arvind (not out) 22. Extras (LB-3, W-6) 9. Total (for 7 wkts, 20 overs) 188.

Fall of wickets: 1-20, 2-82, 3-83, 4-96, 5-97, 6-150, 7-166.
Bowling: R Vinay Kumar 4-0-28-1, David Johnson 4-0-38-1, G Vinay 3-0-38-0, Santosh Vadeyaraj 4-0-40-1, Ramlinga Patil 3-0-18-2, Zeeshan Ali Sayed 2-0-23-2.

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