Disciplined Provident on track

Kattis men overpower Gladiators to keep semifinal aspirations alive

Opting to bowl first, Provident shot out Gladiators for a modest 102 in 17.1 overs and then chased down the target with 21 balls to spare for only their second win of the tournament in five outings. The win kept the champions alive in the race for semifinal spots while the Gladiators slumped to their second straight defeat, seriously jeopardising their chances of moving into the knockout stage. The Ganesh Satish-led side takes on Bangalore Brigadiers in its last league match.

Even taking into account the slow nature of the wicket, a target of 103 shouldn’t have posed much of a problem but the Provident batsmen contrived to push themselves into a corner, thanks to a combination of some clever bowling by the Gladiators and indecisiveness on the part of the top-order batsmen.

Opener Thilak Naidu was trapped in front by left-arm seamer KP Rohan while a compact-looking Kaunain Abbas failed to clear a diving Tejas Wagle at cover off K Gowtham. The off-spinner then won a leg-before verdict against a well-set Verma, triggering a mini-crisis in the Provident camp.

At 41 for three, the Malnad side might have fancied its chances but an industrious MK Manjunath (22, 28b, 2x4) and an enterprising Aniruddha Joshi (34, 24b, 2x4, 2x6) collected 41 runs from 35 balls to shut out all escape routes for Gladiators, despite Gowtham accounting for Manjunath.

Provident needed no more than 21 when Manjunath departed and man of the match Joshi, who was equally impressive with the ball during his parsimonious four-over spell, finished off the proceedings in style hoisting Gladiators’ best bowler on the day Gowtham over the sightscreen.

Put in by Anand Katti, the Gladiators failed to come to terms with the damp pitch where stroke-making wasn’t the easiest of tasks. Eight of their batsmen fell for single-digit scores, four of them without opening their accounts, as Provident bowlers ran amok, impressive pacemen NC Aiyappa (2/12) and Abhishek Jagan (2/13) providing the early breakthroughs.

With half their side back in the hut and the score reading only 27, even a total of 100 looked a distant possibility, but Sanjay Kumar (36, 36b, 3x4, 1x6) and Gowtham (27, 16b, 2x4, 2x6) swung their bats around to take Gladiators to a respectable total.

MALNAD GLADIATORS: Ganesh Satish c Naidu b Aiyappa 7, Kunal Kapoor c Jain b Aiyappa 7, KC Avinash c Jain b Bhatkal 16, Rajoo Bhatkal c Naidu b Jagan 1, Nishant Hegde b Jagan 0, Tejas Wagle c Naidu b Bhatkal 0, Sanjay Kumar (run out) 36, K Gowtham c Naidu b Verma 27, SK Moinuddin b Joshi 0, KP Rohan (run out) 1, Shantaraju (not out) 0. Extras (LB-1, W-6) 7. Total (all out, 17.1 overs) 102.

Fall of wickets: 1-16 (Ganesh), 2-17 (Kapoor), 3-26 (Bhatkal), 4-26 (Hegde), 5-27 (Wagle), 6-57 (Avinash), 7-90 (Sanjay), 8-90 (Moinuddin), 9-102 (Rohan). 

Bowling: NC Aiyappa 2-0-12-2, Abhishek Jagan 3-0-13-2 (w-3), Anand Katti 4-0-23-0, Rahul Bhatkal 3-0-23-2 (w-2), Aniruddha Joshi 4-1-17-1 (w-1), Sarfaraz Ashraf 1-0-13-0, Amit Verma 0.1-0-0-1.

PROVIDENT BANGALORE: Amit Verma lbw Gowtham 22, Thilak Naidu lbw Rohan 3, Kaunain Abbas c Wagle b Gowtham 9, MK Manjunath b Gowtham 22, Aniruddha Joshi (not out) 34, Rahul Bhatkal (not out) 6. Extras (LB-4, W-3) 7. Total (for 4 wkts, 16.3 overs) 103.

Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Naidu), 2-33 (Abbas), 3-41 (Verma), 4-82 (Manjunath).

Bowling: Sanjay Kumar 3-0-18-0, KP Rohan 3-0-11-1, K Gowtham 3.3-0-19-3, G Shantaraja 3-0-18-0 (w-3), SK Moinuddin 2-0-15-0, Rajoo Bhatkal 2-0-18-0.

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