Brigadiers storm into semis

Uthappas half-century sets base for four-wicket win over Bulls


Uthappa’s measured fifty was the leading light in Brigadiers successful chase of 167 after restricting Bulls to 166 for two after match was reduced to 19 overs due to overnight rain. Brigadiers now have 10 points from six matches with a match to go while Bulls finished with eight points from their seven league engagements.

A large chunk of Brigadiers’ victory should also go to M Vinod who extracted 15 crucial runs, including a six and four, from DV Anish’s third over and innings’ 17th to turn the tide decisively in favour of the Bangalore outfit.

But before Vinod’s little blitz provided the final push, it was Uthappa who held the innings together with a responsible knock (54, 39b, 4x4, 2x6). After the early fall of Nishant Shekhawat, Uthappa, who got a life on 39, and opener CB Karthik (39, 26b, 3x4, 1x6) played sensibly, keeping the asking rate within the manageable limits.

The second wicket pair added 38 runs at a brisk rate before Stuart Binny ended the alliance jettisoning Karthik. The dismissal saw Brigadiers’ asking rate climb over 11 despite man of the match Uthappa’s presence in the middle.

The Coorg lad tried to give an impetus to scoring slamming two consecutive boundaries of left-arm spinner Nelson Pinto before hoisting medium pacer Jaya Prakash Shetty out of the ground for a maximum. Just when it seemed that he would steer Brigadiers home an old weakness resurfaced. Desire to end all in one blow led Uthappa to his doom and at 123 for four Bangalore outfit were on the brink of danger.

But fortunately Vinod showed commendable presence of mind and the right-hander slammed Binny for a six to conjure the victory. Earlier, it was Mithun Beerala (63 n.o, 55b, 7x4, 1x6) formed the backbone of Bulls’ batting, combining reason with aggression to lead them to a competitive total.  Beerala’s fourth fifty in the KPL was a statement of the value prudent innings carries even in a format like T20. After the initial explosion, Beerala settled into a steady pace, adding 89 runs with Devraj Patil for the second wicket as Bulls recovered from the early loss of Gaurav Dhiman.
When Patil went back to hut, Bulls were still some distance away from a good total, and Binny provided the much needed muscle with a bruising unbeaten 41 (17b, 1x4, 5x6) as the last 51 runs arrived in just 28 balls. But the effort was not enough to check Brigadiers’ run.

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