One team was playing for pride and the other for a third place finish in the league stage as against a fourth place. Pride lost but just about as Bijapur Bulls, set a modest 141 to get in their Karbonn Smartphones Karnataka Premier League tie against Shivamogga Lions, huffed and puffed their way to a two-wicket win that came with just one ball to spare.
That it got so close despite a 37-ball 62-run second wicket association between skipper and opener Bharath Chipli (43, 18b, 7×4, 1×6) and Kaunian Abbas (51, 45b, 4×4, 2×6) tells a tale. Chipli was in ominous touch from the word go but once he was brilliantly caught on the long on fence by Aditya Somanna, things started to unravel for the Bulls.
Abbas all but gave the game away when with just 29 required off the last five overs, he chose to go for a big shot only to be caught at deep midwicket. Suneel Raju struck two big sixes, first in the 19th and then finally the winning hit in the final over when four were required in two balls, to spare Bijapur the blushes.
They now await the result of the night match to learn if they will finish third or fourth in the League table.
Earlier Shivamogga started off well but KP Appanna applied the brakes in the fourth over.
The first delivery was slightly short and wide of off-stump, allowing Ullal to free his arms.
The batsman hadn’t accounted for the slight away turn though and the resultant mishit was brilliantly held one-handed by a diving Gulecha at wide short third man. And with the final ball of his first over, Appanna (4-0-21-4) castled Sharath.
Brief scores: Shivamogga Lions: 140/8 in 20 overs (Rohit K 29, Adoksh Hegde 42, Aditya Somanna 37; Bhavesh Gulecha 3-31, KP Appanna 4-21) lost to Bijapur Bulls: 143/8 in 19.5 overs (Bharath Chipli 43, Kaunian Abbas 51.; Aditya Somanna 2-28, Anirudha Joshi 2-15).
Note: This article was originally published on https://www.deccanherald.com