Shamanoor Davangere Diamonds recorded their first win of the KPL Cup, beating Bjiapur Bulls by three wickets in a last-over thriller at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Chasing a modest target of 131, Davangere were rocked by two early wickets but important contributions from Sunil Raju (42), Yere Goud (20) and Mohanram Nidesh (21 not out) saw them home off the penultimate ball of the match. Raju and Goud were involved in a composed stand of 48 for the fourth wicket, while Nidesh was involved in a crucial stand of 29 for the seventh with Muralidharen Gautam to level the scores. Nidesh then picked a single off the penultimate ball of the 20th over to seal victory and overcome a three-wicket burst from Jayprakash Shetty.
A spell of 4 for 16 by Prasana Patil had earlier helped Davangere limit Bijapur to a chaseable score. Patil triggered a collapse, as Bijapur lost four wickets for 11 after Sudhindra Shinde (30) and Surendra Prasad (31) had revived the team with a 54-run stand. They had been pegged back early at 57 for 5, and the hard-fought recovery was squandered by the late flurry of wickets.
David Johnson (4 for 30) and R Vinay Kumar (2 for 20) starred for Belagavi Panthers yet again, as they beat Malnad Gladiators by six runs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Malnad were in a good position to scale down a target of 153. They had been handed the advantage by SL Akshay (42) and Raju Bhatkal (35), and at 119 for 4, it appeared they could wrap it up. But Johnson and Vinay Kumar then caused a collapse and Malnad ended up losing their last six wickets for 27 to be consigned to their second defeat of the tournament.
The Panthers, at the end of their innings, would have been disappointed they only finished with 152. Opener Jagadeesh Arunkumar smashed his second half-century in as many days, and was supported well by Shyam Ponnappa (34) and Manish Pandey (39). At 135 for 2, the Panthers would have been targeting a score in the range of 170 but they collapsed, losing five wickets for 15 and had to settle for a relatively disappointing score, which, thanks to their seamers, proved just about enough.
In a day of close games, a ruthless 34-ball 70 from Steve Lazarus handed Bangalore Brigadiers (Urban) their third win of the tournament, as they beat Bangalore Provident (Rural) by three wickets. There was little hope for the Brigadiers when they were reduced to 36 for 4 in pursuit of 163, thanks to seamer NC Aiyappa (3 for 26). But Lazarus and captain Deepak Chougule went about setting things right, adding 52 for the fifth wicket. Lazarus was clearly the more aggressive batsman, and continued to attack after Chougule's dismissal, smashing four fours and six sixes before being dismissed with the score on 132. M Vinod (22) and Narayanan Prasad (17 not out) then took over the mantle, and saw their team home with four balls to spare.
The Brigadiers would not have had to chase such a challenging target, had it not been for half-centuries from Sunil Kumar Jain and Balachandra Akhil, as well as a blistering cameo of 36 from Aniruddha Joshi. The trio revived the Provident innings after their team had lost its first three wickets with just 20 on the board. Medium-pacer David Mathias impressed with three wickets. Both teams recovered from early setbacks, but the Brigadiers did a slightly better job to emerge victorious.
Steve Vijay Lazars
Sunil Kumar Jain
Karnataka Premier League Cup