Despite coming up short, Bijapur Bulls proved that they have the mettle to go the distance.
T20 Cricket with all its glorious uncertainties was on display last night at the Gangotri Glades. The Bijapur Bulls walked out a determined lot and when the dust settled, walked back into the hut hungrier than ever.
Such is the game that not all circumstances play out per plan and not every move produces the desired results. How else can one explain the proceedings of the match against Mysuru Warriors on September 4.
While 70-odd for the loss of two might seem a healthy scoreboard, the Warriors batsmen would confess that fortune favoured them. Edges aplenty flew into vacant spots and fetched premium returns. The Bulls opening burst of Abhimanyu Mithun and Ronit More is a potent one on any given day. Against the hosts, they bowled with venom and beat the bat repeatedly. Despite two boundaries (one of which was a splendid cover drive) and a six, Test cricketer and Warriors captain Karun Nair was humbled on more than a couple of occasions by probing deliveries from Mithun. On another day, Mithun would have finished with more scalps but on the night, he finished with 2/27.
Undeterred, the Bulls stuck to their game plan of hitting the right areas. Slowly but surely, the approach paid right dividends. Ronit More was brilliant with the ball. He removed the dangerous Karun Nair and Suneel Raju at the top and then returned to dismiss J Suchith and Manjunath.
Figures of 4/25 reflect the immense potential that More possesses. He will surely be a go-to bowler for the Bulls through the tournament. That the team picked up wickets at regular intervals to bowl out a Nair-led confident batting outfit speaks volumes of the bowling prowess that Bulls possess.
Packed with youth, experience and a heady dose of fighting spirit, this Bijapur Bulls outfit refuses to back down. This tenet came to the fore when their batsmen fought back from a tight 36/3 situation. The 100 run association of Dikshanshu Negi and Nidhish Mohanram was a treat to the eye. As the hosts went quiet on the field and in the stands, the duo smacked the ball to all corners while muting the bowlers into submission.
If Nidhish used brute force to muscle his way to 48 (38) with three 6s and two 4s, Negi used the bowler’s pace to great effect. His 44 (40) saw him strike four boundaries and clear the fence twice. The partnership proved beyond doubt that this team has the ability to bounce back from a tight spot in a menacing manner.
While the end-game proved that swinging fortunes typifies T20 cricket, Bijapur Bulls proved beyond doubt that they are no push-overs and remain worthy title contenders.
Here are some numbers from the match:
- KC Cariappa’s lone wicket in this game fetched him an aggregate of 30 wickets in KPL. He is now the 8th bowler to capture 30 or more wickets in KPL. Others are – K Gowtham (48), R Vinay Kumar (43), J Suchith (42), VV Kumar (35), Amit Verma (34), NC Aiyappa (31) and SL Akshay (31)
- Ronit More captured 4/25 in this game to provide the 36th occasion of a bowler capturing four or more wickets in an innings in KPL. This was also the third instance of a Bijapur Bulls bowler capturing four wickets in a KPL match. Others are – N Mulky – 4/15 vs Mangalore at Bangalore on 19.09.10 and KC Cariappa – 4-19 vs Rockstars at Bangalore on 07.09.14
- Ronit More registered his best bowling figures in KPL with his 4/25 in this game. His previous best was 2/14 representing Mangalore against Mysuru Warriors at Hubbalii on 05.09.15
- This game witnessed rival skippers opening the innings for their respective teams – KK Nair for Mysuru Warriors and B Chipli for Bijapur Bulls to provide one of the rare occasions in KPL
- Nidhish Mohanram and Dikshanshu Negi added 100 runs for the fourth wicket in this game to provide the 26th occasion of batsmen posting a three figure partnership in KPL. It also marked the fifth occasion of Bijapur Bulls batsmen posting a three figure partnership in KPL
- Nidhish Mohanram and Diksanshu Negi added 100 runs for the fourth wicket in the match to provide a record partnership for the fourth wicket in KPL. The previous best was 97 runs partnership between SK Jain and B Akhil of Provident against Brigadiers at Bangalore on 13.09.09.