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|Mir Kaunan Abbas||42||24||0||4||175.00|
Mysuru Warriors thumped the defending champions in a mighty close encounter on Friday. That win has taken them to do the third place in the points table and are looking good to qualify for the playoffs. They are now set to take on Bijapur Bulls in an afternoon game on Saturday which will seal the fate of at least one of the two teams involved, as far as the qualification to the playoffs is concerned. A win for the Warriors will not only cement their spot in the playoffs but also make the qualification tougher for the Bulls. A win for them, however, will make the points table interesting with five teams fighting for the remaining three spots.
The Bulls have arguably been the most unfortunate team in the competition so far with two of their matches washed out due to rain. On paper, they've won just one game out of four, but out of those four, only two games have yielded results. They registered their first win in the tournament only a few days ago with a last-ball win against Bellary Tuskers.
Along with their captain Bharat Chipli, the Bulls will be joyed with the performance of KN Bharath who single-handedly won them the game from the jaws of a defeat with a 46-ball 75. After modest contributions from Shashir Bhavane and Bharath Chipli, Naga Bharath took it upon himself to guide them home with a 153-run target. The Bulls needed nine off the final over which was reduced to a six required off the final delivery when Bharath sent Kartik's poor delivery over fine-leg boundary.
Earlier with the ball, it was KC Cariappa's dream night as he played a vital role to restrict the Tuskers to a modest total. He returned with the spell of 4-0-11-3. KP Appanna helped him perfectly from the other end as the duo strangled the Tuskers for a total of just 152 runs which was a colossal effort especially after the start Tuskers got. Appanna got two wickets for 15 runs in his three overs.
Shishir Bhavane, Bharat Chipli, Mir Kaunan Abbas, KN Bharath, KL Shrijith, Suneel Raju, Gneshwar Naveen, Ronit More, KP Appanna, KC Cariappa, Zahoor Farooqui.
The Warriors continued to build onto their fairytale run in the competition as they pipped Belgavi Panthers in a run-scoring fest on Friday. Batting first on an excellent batting surface, the Panthers' batsmen got going and got to a mammoth total of 201.
Arjun Hoysala and Rajoo Bhatkal started off rather cautiously, but the pitch got better to bat as the match progressed. Amit Verma and Shoaib Manager played match-defining innings as the duo took the total over 200 which at one stage wasn't projected to be even 180.
Although their bowlers did well in the initial half of the innings by picking up important wickets of Stalin Hoover and Stuart Binny, they lost the plot after fifteenth over before keeping the nerve in the final two overs. Jagadeesh Suchith, their captain, was taken away for 41 runs in his last two overs, the 16th, and 18th of their innings, which turned the game towards the Panthers. However, the last two overs from Vyashak Vijaykumar and Prateek Jain were stupendous as the Panthers were able to get only 18 off them eventually losing the match by 1-run.
Arjun Hoysala, Raju Bhatkal, Amit Verma, Shoaib Manager, NP Bhareth, Jagadeesha Suchith, Srinivas Sharath, Krishnamurthy Siddharth, Kushal Wadhwani, Vyshak Vijaykumar, Prateek Jain.
There is a forecast of thunderstorms in Mysore on Saturday which should be in consideration of both the skippers. Considering the performance of their respective last matches, both teams look on par with each other. However, the fact that Mysuru Warriors are playing it in front of their home crowd in familiar conditions makes them favorite to win this all-important encounter.