KPL 2018 | All-round Bijapur Bulls look to secure final berth on the back of fine momentum

It is not over till the fat lady sings. People might have been forgiven for not giving a chance to Bijapur Bulls to qualify for the semi-final after the loss to Hubli Tigers, but despite enduring a couple of rain-abandoned matches, Bijapur reached the semis with performances of all guts and glory.

As they set their feet out to take on Hubli Tigers in the semi-finals today in a bid to fix a final date with Bengaluru Blasters, the journey has caught a lot of eyeballs. The team, who had to settle with a tally of two points from the first three matches of the tournament, has turned around their fortunes in Mysore as they secured three consecutive victories against Bellary Tuskers, Mysuru Warriors, and Shivamogga Lions in convincing margins and will look forward to extending their winning run to the semi-final as well.

The most satisfying thing for Bijapur Bulls will be their all-round performance. The team hasn’t been dependent on any single player and like Chennai Super Kings of 2018, one hero has emerged after another to take the team down the line. If it was KN Bharat against the Tuskers, Bharath Chipli played a swashbuckling innings to make sure that the Bulls were alive to fight for another day. A KP Appanna special coupled with Bhavesh Gulecha’s fine pace-bowling helped the Kiran Kattimani-owned franchise to finish the league stage at the third place so as to avoid meeting dangerous-looking Robin Uthappa-led Bengaluru Blasters.

Today’s encounter promises a lot for Bijapur, who had suffered a loss to Belagavi Panthers in the final last year and thereby securing their second title. After bowling and batting failed to get going in the first game, the team has been impeccable so far, and will not try to lose the same momentum come to the semi-final in the evening today.

However, the team also need to sort out the minor chinks to go all guns blazing against the Tigers today who will have a huge crowd support behind them. Bijapur, in the last match against Shivamogga Lions, after a very good start lost five wickets in quick succession, which made the 141-run target look a huge one at one point and it was only in the penultimate ball of the match that the team leapfrogged it. Captain Bharat Chipli rued the same and in the post-match presentation ceremony, called for more application from his teammates.

“I think we batted badly. We lost 5 wickets in the middle overs. We need to show more application in the knockout matches. The ball was coming on nicely so I thought I will take my chances,” Chipli said.

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