On a rain-free, cloudy day, Bellary Tuskers decimated a Kichha Sudeep’s Rockstars by eight wickets in a lop-sided match to finally open their account in the fifth Karbonn KPL tournament here at the KSCA Stadium, Rajnagar, on Friday.
With their bowlers doing a commendable job in putting the leash on Rockstars batsmen, Tuskers, opting to field, had a modest total of 97 to chase to break their three-match winless run. Thanks to a polished 40 apiece by their openers Rohan Kadam and K B Pawan, who remained unbeaten, Tuskers achieved the task without much fuss.
Spearheaded by pacers Prasidh Krishna and Prateek Jain, who also bowled a maiden over, Tuskers’ bowlers ensured that Rockstars batsmen never really settled down to put up a sizeable score on the board. Except for Prateek, who went wicketless, rest of Tuskers’ bowlers had a wicket to their account with Anil I G being the pick of them, bagging three for 15 in his four overs. The effort fetched him the Man of the Match award. Rockstars captain and cinestar Sudeep, unlike last time, did not take to the crease with their innings folding up for 97 for seven in 20 overs. He did turn his arm over which saw the winning runs scored off him.
With a modest total to chase, Tuskers’ Kadam and Pawan went about the task in clinical fashion, collecting runs with great ease. Kadam was the first to go, caught by Charan off Ritesh Bhatkal, for 40 (7x4). He added 62 for the first wicket.
Thereafter, Pawan (40 not out) and Manjunath ensured the team achieved their task in 11.2 overs.
In the second match of the day, a swashbuckling innings of 61 (41b, 2x6, 6x4) from opener Rajoo Bhatkal and a hard-hitting unbeaten knock of 56 (37b, 4x4, 3x6) from Anirudha Joshi helped Mysuru Warriors recover from a top order meltdown and defeat champions Bijapur Bulls by four wickets.
Chasing a target of 162, the Warriors got off to a terrible start, losing Arjun Hoysala in the first over. Bhatkal though batted like a man on a mission. He struck powerfully and the fours and sixes that flowed off his bat compensated for the fall of wickets at the other end.
K Gowtham (10), R Jonathan (1) and skipper Manish Pandey (4) fell in quick succession but man of the match Joshi gave good support to Bhatkal. The fifth wicket pair added 63 runs in 45 balls before Bhatkal fell.
Joshi though carried on and with J Suchith (19), added 36 runs in 28 balls to wreck Bulls’ hopes.
The win was Mysuru’s fourth in as many matches while Bulls have a solitary win from four matches.
Earlier, put in to bat, the Bulls were indebted to opener R Samarth, who held the innings together with an innings of 66 (61b, 1x6, 4x4).
Skipper Robin Uthappa was run out by a brilliant direct throw by K Gowtham and Naveen MG, KC Avinash and Bharat Chipli all perished cheaply. But with Samarth out there in the middle the Bulls never lost hope.
Off spinner Gowtham (3/23) and J Suchith (1/23) kept a tight check on the flow of runs even as the medium pacers seemed to be a lot more liberal in giving away runs.
All along, Samarth, who was dismissed in the final over, kept going to the delight of Bijapur fans.
But in the end, Samarth’s knock was not enough to save the team from the blades of Bhatkal and Joshi.
Brief scores: Rockstars: 97/7 in 20 overs (Anil I G 3-15, B Akhil 2-15) lt to Bellary Tuskers: 98/2 in 11.2 overs (Rohan Kadam 40, K B Pawan 40 n.o.); Bijapur Bulls: 161/6 in 20 overs (R Samarth 66, Arshdeep Singh Brar 27 n.o.; K Gowtham 3-23) lt to Mysuru Warriors: 167/6 in 19.4 overs (Rajoo Bhatkal 61, Anirudha Joshi 56 n.o.; A Mithun 2-36, Zahoor Farooqui 2-26).