Bangalore Provident stay rooted to top spot
Bangalore Provident (Rural) consolidated their position at the top of the league with a confident win against Belagavi Panthers. The fatigue from playing two back-to-back matches in less than 24 hours showed as Belagavi managed only 116 for 6 batting first. Captain J Arunkumar failed to repeat the fireworks from the previous day, while left-arm spinner Sarfaraz Ashraf accounted for the dangerous Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa. It was Shyam Ponappa's quick 34 that lent some respectability to the score while the others continued to flounder.
Belagavi sensed an opportunity during the chase when they sent back the Bangalore Provident openers with the score on 20. But a third-wicket partnership of 57 between Amit Verma and captain Balachandra Akhil strengthened the innings. Akhil played the aggressor with a 23-ball 34, with five fours and a six, while Verma gave solid support with a near-run-a-ball 31. Even as both departed, the Belagavi bowlers did not do enough to seize the initiative and Bangalore Provident won with eight balls to spare.
Shamanoor Davangere Diamonds eked out a seven-run win in a rain-affected contest against Malnad Gladiators via the VJD method. The two points helped them switch places with Malnad, who sank to the bottom of the table. Opting to bat, Shamanoor were lifted by Mayank Agarwal's 30 off 27 balls. However, just 7.1 overs were bowled before the rain came down.
Set a revised target of 44 from five overs, Malnad found the going tough. None of the batsmen managed double figures as Shamanoor held the edge throughout the chase. Seventeen off the final over proved to be too tall an ask and Malnad tasted defeat for the fifth time.