Bulls campaign comes to an end

Sarfraz Ashraf

But the spin of Sarfraz Ashraf and pace of D H Sunil Kumar certainly put them through the wringer as Provident Bangalore scored a 20-run victory on Tuesday to enter the final of the Mantri KPL. They will face Belagavi Panthers in the final on Wednesday.

Electing to bat, Provident found the going tough under lights but managed to post a challenging 153 for eight. Their bowlers then produced a gritty effort to restrict Bulls to 133.
None was more impressive than Ashraf whose variations were hard to pick on a slowish pitch and the left-arm spinner plucked three crucial wickets including those of Mithun Beerala and Sudhindra Shinde.

Bulls’ downfall had started much earlier when they lost swashbuckling opener Gaurav Dhiman cheaply to Sunil Kumar. The burly paceman later produced a stunning one-handed catch at the deep mid-wicket fence to dismiss Praveen Kumar off Ashraf. Stuart Binny (42, 39b, 2x4, 2x6) and Jaya Prakash Shetty tried to take their side home with some hefty blows while adding 41 runs off 27 balls, but the gap was too wide to be bridged.

Earlier, Provident had to rely on a late charge by Aniruddha Joshi (30, 16b, 3x6) to take their total past the 150-mark. Thilak Naidu’s early dismissal meant skipper B Akhil had to do the bulk of work, but the right-hander could not last the distance, falling to DV Anish.
Fortunately, Provident found the right players to take them past each challenge.

Score Board
PROVIDENT BANGALORE:  MK Manjunath c Binny b Shetty 23; VS Thilak Naidu c Shetty b Vinay 2; Amit Verma lbw Liao 11; Sunil Kumar Jain b Anish 24; B Akhil c Shinde b Anish 24; Rahul Bhatkal (run out) 27; Aniruddha Joshi c Anish b Shetty 30; NC Aiyappa (not out) 5; Sarfraz Ashraf (run out) 2; Extras (W-5) 5; Total (for 8 wkts, 20 overs) 153.
Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-29, 3-55, 4-77, 5-103, 6-146, 7-146, 8-153.
Bowling: Jaya Prakash Shetty 3-0-24-2, Vinay Kumar 4-0-29-1, Praveen Kumar 2-0-15-0, Stuart Binny 4-0-24-0, Daniel Liao 3-0-25-1, DV Anish 4-0-36-2.

BIJAPUR BULLS: Mithun Beerala c Naidu b Ashraf 17; Gaurav Dhiman c Katti b DH Sunil 14; Sudhindra Shinde c Amit b Ashraf 4; Stuart Binny c Joshi b DH Sunil 42; Surendra Prasad (run out) 0; Devraj Patil c Manjunath b Amit 16; Praveen Kumar c DH Sunil b Ashraf 0; Jaya Prakash Shetty b DH Sunil 29; DV Anish c SK Jain b Aiyappa 2; Daniel Liao c DH Sunil b Aiyappa 1; Vinay Kumar (not out) 0; Extras (B-1, LB-2, W-5) 8; Total (all out in 19.5 overs) 133.
Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-31, 3-44, 4-44, 5-79, 6-86, 7-127, 8-128, 9-133.
Bowling: NC Aiyappa 3.5-0-37-2, DH Sunil Kumar 3-0-6-3, Anand Katti 4-0-23-0, Sarfarz Ashraf 4-0-19-3, B Akhil 3-0-35-0, Amit Verma 2-0-10-1.

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