After two abandoned match, Bijapur Bulls are back in the winning ways as KN Bharath hit a winning six to guide his team beat Bellary Tuskers by two wickets in a thrilling encounter. Earlier, KC Cariappa and KP Appanna spun a web around to restrict the Tuskers to a paltry total of 152 runs.
Note: Insert note “This article was originally published in Sportscafe.in – the offical media partner of Bijapur Bulls for KPL 2018)
Brief Scores: Bellary Tuskers – 152/9 (Rohan Kadam 52, CA Karthik 45, KC Cariappa 3/11, KP Appanna 2/15) lost to Bijapur Bulls – 154/8 from 19.5 overs (KN Bharath 72*, Shishir Bhavane 31, Lokesh Akshay 3/30, Rithesh Bhatkal 2/20)
Bijapur Bulls entered the encounter against Bellary Tuskers in search for their first win of the tournament after losing their first match to Hubli Tigers and rain disrupted the game against Belagavi Panthers and Bangalore Blasters in the Hubli phase of the tournament. Bharat Chipli won the toss for the Bulls and opted to bowl first at the Srikantadatta Narasimha Raja Wadiyar Ground in Mysore in the 14th match of KPL 2018.
However, the Tuskers, led by CM Gautam, got off to one of the best starts of the tournament as openers – Rohan Kadam and Karthik CA looked in fine touch early in the innings. But Just in his second ball, KC Cariappa trapped Karthik in front of the wicket and got the danger man out for 45. The Tuskers continued to rage on with the runs as Devdutt Padikkal joined in on the action with Kadam, who was already at the crease. But a breakthrough in the 14th over by another spinner, KP Appanna, in the form of Paddikal’s wicket ended the partnership at 49 runs itself.
However, It was all downhill for the Tuskers from there onwards. Not a single batsmen, including skipper Gautam, managed to score double-figures after Kadam’s dismissal and the tuskers looked to be in a limbo towards the end of the innings, courtesy of some quality bowling from Cariappa and Appanna, who picked up five wickets between them. A six off the final delivery of the game took the tuskers to a total of 152/9 and left Bharat Chipli & Co. to chase down a total of 153 from 20 overs.
It seemed to be a very difficult run chase for the last year’s runners-up considering their fragile batting display against the Vinay Kumar-led Hubli Tigers. However, unlike that game in Bengaluru, Shishir Bhavane and Bharath Chipli combined together to stitch a sensible partnership of 49 runs inside the powerplay. While Mir Kunnain Abbas fell to make a significant contribution, fans were in for a KN Bharath special who waltzed his way to score a breath-taking 72 off 47 balls. Although SL Akshay created some trouble and rose a flicker of hope in the Tuskers dug-out, a penultimate six by Bharath made sure that the Bulls are alive to fight for another day and also have made the qualification scenario more interesting.