Bangalore Provident make it to semis
Bangalore Provident (Rural) cemented their place in the KPL Cup semi-finals with a ten-run win over Mysore Maharaajas. Mysore needed to win this game to entertain hopes to making it to the knockout stage, but a target of 156 proved beyond their reach. Bangalore Brigadiers (Urban), who lead the points table, take on Belagavi Panthers in the first semi-final tomorrow while Bangalore Provident battle with Bijapur Bulls in the second.
Asked to bat, Bangalore Provident were dented early, the first wicket falling in the second over. But Thilak Naidu (43 in 42 balls) and Amit Verma (41) led the recovery with a 75-run stand, and Balachandra Akhil then blasted 41, including four sixes, in just 20 balls to help steer Bangalore Provident to a competitive score in a crunch game.
Mysore Maharaajas were under pressure from the outset, for they had to chase down the target in under 16 overs to get their net run-rate to a level which would ensure their qualification into the final four. But they were in the hunt at 85 for 1 in the 10th over before left-arm spinner Sarfaraz Ashraf (4 for 16) and Akhil (2 for 27) combined to cause a collapse, where Mysore lost six wickets for 16 runs to be shut out of contention. A 27-run tenth-wicket stand gave Mysore a glimmer of hope of winning the game, if not progressing to the next stage, but a last-over run-out sealed their fate.
Bangalore Brigadiers (Urban) continued their successful run in the KPL Cup, and rounded off their league phase with an emphatic eight-wicket win over Shamanoor Davangere Diamonds at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. The game was effectively a dead rubber, for Davangere, now at the bottom of the points table, had failed to qualify for the semi-finals. Bangalore had already sealed a place in the final four, and are table-toppers with six wins in seven games.
Bangalore's performance today centered around a disciplined bowling display which helped restrict Davangere to 118 for 5. Mohanram Nidesh made 54, rescuing his team from 40 for 4 but his effort was in vain. David Mathias (2 for 12) and Narayanan Prasad (1 for 12 in four overs) ensured the scoring was kept in check and the target, well within reach.
Robin Uthappa was the star with the bat, striking six fours and four sixes in his 32-ball 69, and was supported by opener Nishant Shekawat (28 in 26). Uthappa's blazing innings meant Bangalore reached their target with close to seven overs to spare.