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As we are approaching the business end of the Karnataka Premier League, the matches are getting tighter with every passing game. Four of the last five games in the tournament have gone down to the wire and have finished in the last over. Having already secured the playoff spot, Bengaluru Blasters are pretty much out of this chaos in the middle of the table. Mysuru Warriors will still have to go through it and are set to face the Blasters in their upcoming match on Sunday at Mysore. Despite a loss in their last game, the Warriors won't be too disappointed as they've already qualified for the next round, thanks to Belgavi's loss to the Tigers. Although the upcoming game is a dead rubber as far as the qualifications are concerned, we don't expect any team to take the other one lightly.
The Blasters continued to march on their way up with yet another win in the tournament, against Hubli Tigers. Due to the relentless rain on a Friday afternoon, the start of their last game was delayed and the match was eventually shortened to 18 overs a side.
The Blasters won the toss and sent Hubli Tigers in on a surface which was assistive to pace bowling. V Koushik didn't disappoint and sent back two Tigers' batsmen back to the pavilion. The Blasters continued to chip away with the wickets and ultimately restricted the Tigers to a modest total of 118 in 18 overs.
Batting didn't go as planned for the Blasters. Although they kept wickets in hand, the rate at which they scored was pretty slow. Openers M Vishwanathan and KB Pawan were watchful and got them off to a steady start. Robin Uthappa, too, failed to up the ante and ended up making pedestrian 26 off 31 deliveries. They were required to hit 19 runs off the final two overs in bowler-friendly conditions and Pavan Deshpande got them home with a massive six in the last over.
KB Pawan, KC Avinash, RV Uthappa, Pavan Deshpande, S Gopal, Mitrakanth-Yadav, Vineet Yadav, Abhisek Bhat, Anand Doddamani, Sharan Gowda, Rohan Raju.
Despite facing a heart-breaking defeat from Bijapur Bulls, the Warriors have secured a semi-final berth which should have a calming influence over them, considering the way the last game went for them. After winning the toss and putting Bijapur Bulls in, the Warriors started off well by dismissing one of their openers and keeping their batsmen quiet till the end of the powerplay. Shoaib Manager dropped a sitter of man-of-the-match, Bharat Chipli, which eventually turned out to be match-defining. It was, however, an overall improved effort from the Warriors as compared to the way they fielded in their previous matches.
Just when Kaunain Abbas was looking to take the game away from the Warriors, NP Bharath got him caught at deep midwicket which triggered a mini-collapse for the Bulls. Bulls, however, somehow managed to get to a competitive total of 167 which eventually proved to be too much for the Warriors.
The Warriors started off in a terrific fashion and shaved thirty runs off the required total in no time at all. The introduction of KC Cariappa and Suneel Raju slowed things down for the Warriors and they lost Arjun Hoysala and Amit Verma in quick succession. The wicket of Rajoo Bhatkal and Shoaib Manager allowed Bulls to claw back in the game. Despite valiant effort of skipper J Suchith, who scored 34 off 20, the Warriors fell two runs short of the target.
Arjun Hoysala, Raju Bhatkal, Amit Verma, Shoaib Manager, Krishnamurthy Siddharth, Jagadeesha Suchith, NP Bhareth, Srinivas Sharath, SP Manjunath, Vyshak Vijaykumar, Prateek Jain.
With the upcoming match being inconsequential as far as the playoff spot is concerned, we may see some of the key players rested before the important knockout matches. However, both the teams will like to go into the semi-final on a back of a win, so we expect both the sides of coming out all guns blazing. Mysuru Warriors are playing at their home ground and with their batsmen in spinners in fine form, we expect them to thump Bengaluru Blasters in what will be the last league match for both the sides.