Clinical KSCA XI cut Air India's flight short

Joshi, Patel scalp three each, Pawan slams fifty as hosts enter semifinals

Clinical KSCA XI cut Air India's flight short

KSCA XI skipper KB Pawan smacks one to the boundary during his unbeaten half-century against Air India on Sunday. DH Photo

With reinforcements to their bowling unit coming in the form of Sunil Joshi and Udit Patel, KSCA bundled out Airmen for a paltry 152, including 10 penalty runs for slow over rate, in 46.3 overs. With skipper KB Pawan (68 n.o., 111b, 11x4, 1x6) leading from the front, the hosts raced to 154 for two in 35.2 overs, the victory coming with more than a day’s play left in the two-day contest.

KSCA XI will now lock horns with the winners of the match between KSCA Colts and Hyderabad Cricket Association for a place in the final.

On an ideal batting deck — never mind the thick grass cover on the square — Air India batsmen threw away their wickets as if they had an early flight to catch. Their collapse was as much to do with their reckless shot selection as to the guile and variations the home bowlers exhibited.

With pacemen S Arvind and SL Akshay failing to make any breakthrough after Pawan opted to bowl first, Joshi, who was summoned overnight to play the match with fellow left-arm spinner KP Appanna out with a knee injury, drew the first blood bowling skipper Sushant Marathe. The veteran then slipped in an armer to trap Mohammad Kaif in front after sending down two flighted deliveries.

A brief resistance followed between Aarakshit Gomle (29) and Manvinder Bisla (46, 72b, 4x4, 3x6) before B Akhil, surprisingly under-bowled, got in to trap the former leg-before. Bisla, who sent Joshi thrice soaring over the fence, lived dangerously and it wasn’t long before he perished to a re-introduced Akshay.

Left-arm seamer Arvind, after coming in for some stick early on, redeemed himself with two quick scalps while Joshi (3/36) and Patel (3/7) polished off the rest.

With a mediocre target to achieve, KSCA XI openers, Pawan and KL Rahul, began with a flourish.

Rahul, coming off two centuries in as many matches, took little time to set the tone for the chase with an exquisite straight drive off left-arm paceman Saurabh Netravalkar before dispatching him through covers.

RP Singh, who had shown great heart in the previous match against KSCA President’s XI with a four-wicket haul, was totally off-colour. The left-arm seamer did beat the bat of a tentative Pawan on a few occasions, but he could do no more than that as the opening stand yielded 73 runs in 16.1 overs.

Rahul (29) was the first to depart when he walked after nicking Ankit Chavan to stumper Marathe. Anirudha Joshi (19) dealt in boundaries but his adventure didn’t last long. By that time though, KSCA needed another 47 runs which they collected with great ease, Amit Verma chipping in with a 31-ball 29 (6x4).

Railways win

At RSI, Railways Sports Promotion Board, after restricting Dr DY Patil Cricket Academy to 152 all out in 37.3 overs, replied with 153 for three in 33.3 overs to book their semifinals berth. The railmen will take on the winners of the match between Vidarbha Cricket Association and KSCA President’s XI in the last four match.

Brief scores: At Chinnaswamy: Air India: 152 (including 10 penalty runs) all out in 46.3 overs (Akarshit Gomle 29, Manvinder Bisla 46; S Arvind 2-50, Sunil Joshi 3-36, Udit Patel 3-7) lt to KSCA XI: 154/2 in 35.2 overs (KB Pawan 68 n.o., KL Rahul 29, Amir Verma 29 n.o.).
At NRA: Vidharbha Cricket Association: 186 all out in 73.2 overs (Viraj Kadbe 62, Azar Sheikh 33; Aditya B Sagar 2-29, Md. Asghar Pasha 2-31, Stuart Binny 2-9, Ryan Ninan 4-47) vs KSCA President’s XI: 83/0 in 29 overs (Bharath Chipli 25 batting, Karun Nair 42 batting).
At RSI: Dr DY Patil Cricket Academy: 152 all out in 37.3 overs (Nilkanth Parab 41, Iqbal Abdulluh 54 n.o.; Krishnakant 4-58, Vikas Tohas 5-51) lt to Railways Sports Promotion Board: 154/3 in 33.3 overs (Faiz Fazal 43, JP Yadav 59 n.o., Shreyas Khanolkar 25 n.o.; Shoaib Sheikh 2-12).
At IAF: Hyderabad CA: 336/8 in 94 overs (S Anoop Pai 135, Ibrahim Khaleel 76, Parth Jhala 52, MP Arjun 31; BN Bharath 3-44, Sunil N Raju 2-42) vs KSCA Colts.

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