Narrow win for Hubli

Narrow win for Hubli

Cricket Karnataka Premier League : Vinu, Kapoor, Arvind shine for the home team

Narrow win for Hubli

On a blustery Saturday morning, with overcast skies providing a sense of uncertainty, the fifth edition of the Karbonn Karnataka Premier League got off to a fine start, despite much misgivings weather may play truant. 

The glorious uncertainty the game is legion for was on full view in the first match as Hubli Tigers nearly frittered away the game before posting a two-wicket victory over Namma Shivamogga, with the tail keeping its nerves.

Shivamogga made 129 for six in the stipulated 20 overs and the Tigers recovered from a mid-innings collapse to reach home in 19 overs, thanks to an unbeaten 22 by Narayanan Vinu Prasad and his crucial partnership with Kranthi Kumar (4).

Put into bat, the Shivamogga openers Sadiq Kirmani and Nikin Jose made a steady start. 

The first fifty came in 9.3 overs with Kirmani 21 and Jose 30, well set in the middle.  Jose had a slice of luck with Bharath fumbling a stumping chance.  He, however, did not last long and was out for 37, holing out to Stalin Hoover with the score reading 83. 

Kirmani continued in flamboyant fashion, notching up two sixes and six fours in his pivotal innings of 69 off 63 balls before being bowled by pacer Arvind but the rest of the Shivamogga players were not up to it. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals and Shivamogga, whose 100 came in the 15th over, ended at 129 for six. 

The Tigers got off to a spectacular start with opener Mohammed Taha smashing a glorious six off the very first ball from Shivamogga captain Stuart Binny.  Both Taha and Abhishek Reddy kept the scoreboard ticking but the Tigers’ chase ran into rough weather. 

The first setback was when Reddy (13 off 13 balls) was run out by the Jose-Kirmani combine, with the team score on 34. Stalin Hoover lasted two balls, bowled by Shreyas Gopal for nought. Six runs later, Taha, having scored 23, was bowled by Abrar Kazi, leaving the Tigers tottering at 40 for three.   

With captain Kunal Kapoor keeping one end safe, and Dikshashnu Negi chipping in, one thought the Tigers were in safe waters. 

But Negi was bowled by K P Appanna for 16, with the score reading 67 for four. Wicketkeeper Bharath and Kapoor steadied the innings putting 37 runs for fifth wicket. With the game poised delicately, the downslide began with four wickets falling one after the other in the space of one run. From 67 for four, they were down to 107 for seven, with C J William and Arvind going for first ball ducks but the ninth wicket pair of Vinu Prasad and Kranthi ensured the team began their campaign on a winning note with an unfinished 26 runs stand. 

Arvind was named the man of the match for his three for 15 off four overs.
Brief scores: Namma Shivamogga: 129/6 in 20 overs (Sadiq Kirmani 69, Nikin Jose 37; Sreenath Arvind 3-15, Stalin Hoover 2-25) lt to Hubli Tigers: 133/8 in 19 overs (Kunal Kapoor 35; Abrar Kazi 3-23). 

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