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|Chethan John William||4||7||0||0||57.14|
|Chethan John William||2.0||0||13||1||6.50|
The Blasters just about managed to keep their undefeated record intact with a narrow two-run win over Mysore Warriors in what was the last league fixture for both the sides. Mysuru Warriors placed fourth on the points table, will once again meet Bengaluru Blasters on Tuesday, 4th September at the SDNR Wadiyar Stadium in the first semifinal of the tournament. It was an exceptional game of Cricket with the winner emerging out on the last delivery of the day and with two equally decent teams meeting in the first knockout match, we expect the playoffs to begin in a blazing fashion.
Bengaluru Blasters have been absolutely in rampaging mood in the tournament, notching up five wins in five completed games. However, their last match was quite unlike the way they've played in the series. It was a rather see-saw game of Cricket where they somehow managed to finish at the top.
After being put into bat, the Blasters were reduced to 24 for 3 at one moment before a small partnership between Robbin Uthappa and Pavan Deshpande bailed them out. Uthappa departed for a personal score of 37 with team's total at 61 in the tenth over. Vinit Yadav and Deshpande then joined together for an unbeaten partnership of 87 which propelled their total to 148 which gave their bowlers a little bit of chance.
They needed their bowlers to bowl accurately so as to grab slightest of chances to turn the game into their favor and they did not disappoint. They dismissed Mysore's key batsmen within the powerplay from which the Warriors were never really able to recover. A dramatic innings by Manjunath did send a bit of scare but excellent last over by Doddamani Anand who finished with the figures of 2 for 18 in his three overs.
KB Pawan, RV Uthappa, Pavan Deshpande, AS Brar, Manoj Bhandge, Chethan John William, S Gopal, Abhisek Bhat, Mitrakanth-Yadav, Anand Doddamani, V Koushik.
A steady start would have sealed it for the Warriors, but the batting ghosts of their last game got to their brains as their openers perished while trying to score too quickly. To the disappointment of the home crowd, the Warriors lost the key wickets of Rajoo Bhatkal, A Arjun Hoysala, and Amit Verma for just 27 runs in 3.2 overs.
Despite a valiant effort by S Sharath, who scored 37 off 39 deliveries, and Manjunath SP, they fell short of the Blasters' total by a little margin of three runs. Needing 11 off the last over with two wickets in hand, Manjunath reverse-smashed Anand towards point boundary for four. With the equation of 7 needed off 5, the Warriors were outright favorites, but some poor judgment from Manjunath and no support from the remaining batsman saw the fall short.
Although, their bowlers did particularly well to pick up key wickets at regular intervals and restrict Blasters to a manageable total of 148, their inability to clean up the tail was one of the reasons for their loss. Poor bowling coupled with defensive fieldsets and poor strategy, Warriors struggled to get wickets in the middle and death overs which instilled confidence in Blasters' batsmen as they eventually bailed them out of the trouble.
Arjun Hoysala, Raju Bhatkal, Amit Verma, Srinivas Sharath, Shoaib Manager, Jagadeesha Suchith, SP Manjunath, NP Bhareth, Vyshak Vijaykumar, Kushal Wadhwani, Prateek Jain.
With the same teams, same ground, and but different scenario, the two teams will meet once again, this time for a much better reward - a place in the finals. Both teams were equally good in their last league match and it's hard to pick between the sides. It's been a while since Shoaib Manager has performed for the Warriors which has reflected upon the poor middle-order performance by them. The Blasters, on the other hand, bat deep and with the presence of Robin Uthappa, they have a stronger batting lineup. With Shreyas Gopal back in the side, they appear to be far more balanced and are favorites to win the first semifinal and march their way forward in the tournament.
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