KPL 2018 | Bijapur Bulls to face in form Bengaluru Blasters at Hubli today

After losing their opening game and a rain marred second one, Bijapur Bulls will look forward to secure their first win in the ongoing Kartnataka Premier League (KPL) when they face Bengaluru Blasters today. However, rain continues to be a huge threat when the match will commense in the evening.

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Bijapur Bulls are yet to win a game in this season of KPL while the Blasters from the state capital have done well so far with two wins from two games. The Bulls lost their opening game against Hubli Tigers by four wickets while their second game against defending champions Belagavi Panthers was abandoned due to rain. On the other hand, Bengaluru defeated Belagavi Panthers in the inaugural game of the season and in a closely-fought battle beat Bellary Tuskers in their second.
Players to watch out for:

With skipper Bharath Chipli getting a good start against Hubli Tigers in the first game, the responsibility of scoring quick runs in powerplays will again be on his able shoulders. Chipli scored sensible 29 off 25 deliveries in the first game. Naveen MG’s quick-fire unbeaten knock of 44 runs towards the end was the most positive takeaway for the Bulls from their opening game and he is again expected to show his big hitting skills against the Blasters. In the bowling department, a lot will depend on the spin twin of KP Apanna and KC Cariappa. While Cariappa proved to be very economical in the first game and picked up Sujit Gowda’s wicket, Apanna, on the other hand, bowled only two overs and went for 20 runs.

Skipper Robin Uthappa’s quick-fire knock of 81 off 38 started off the season with a bang for the Blasters and their batting will be heavily dependent on their captain once again. M Vishwanathan and Pavan Deshpande will have a lot of responsibility in the top and middle order respectively while their top-scorer from the last game Arshdeep Singh Brar will have to take the onus on himself to score runs at a brisk pace during the death overs. Medium pacer Manoj Bhandange picked up three wickets each in both the previous games and he will be a player to watch out for along with others like V Koushik and Bharath Devraj.
Behaviour of the pitch at Hubli

After a grand beginning in Bengaluru, now the tournament has reached Hubli where the pitch has a record of not producing many runs while most of the games played at the KSCA ground here see an average score of around 160 and the behaviour is expected to remain the same during today’s game as well.

There are a few chances of precipitation at Hubli on Wednesday. There is a prediction of scattered rainfall while both the teams and the cricket lovers would want the clouds to stay away from the venue and not dampen the spirit of the players and spectators during such crucial game of the Bulls especially after yesterday’s abandonment. In case of rain, DLS method might come into the picture and both the skippers will be having that in mind as well.
Predicted XIs:

Bijapur Bulls: Bharath Chipli (c), KP Appanna, Ronit More, Suneel Raju, Shishir Bhavane, KC Cariappa, Naveen MG, KN Bharath, Mir Kaunain Abbas, Zahoor Farooqui, Anurag Bajpai (wk)

Bengaluru Blasters: Robin Uthappa (c), KB Pawan, Abhishek Bhat, Pavan Deshpande, V Koushik, Chethan William, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Mitrakanth Yadav, M Vishwanathan (wk), Manoj S Bhandage, Bharath Devaraj

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