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It's remarkable how one player can make a massive difference in the fortunes of a team. Three matches ago, Belgavi Panthers were struggling to avoid the bottom of the points table, but since the addition of Manish Pandey to their playing eleven, they've looked an altogether different unit. With not many matches to go in the league stage, the Panthers appear to be peaking just at the right moment. Up next in the tournament, they are taking on Bijapur Bulls, who have been at the receiving end of the luck with two of their matches washed out due to rain. A win here is likely to push them into the top-four whereas as a loss here would ascertain their exit from the competition. Just like them, Belgavi Panthers also sail in the same boat, albeit in a better position, and will be looking to get two crucial points in this upcoming fixture, which is to be played on 26th August at Srikantadatta Narasimha Raja Wadeyar Ground, Mysuru.
Before their last match which was against Shivamogga Lions, Belgavi Panthers were placed at the fifth spot in the points table, but a massive win today has pushed them to the third spot with five points to their name and a superb net run-rate of +1.59.
Belgavi Panthers had an abysmal start to the tournament as they failed to register a win in any of their first four matches. Their batting looked out of sorts in all but one of those four matches, and ever since Manish Pandey has joined them after returning from India's tour of West Indies, they have appeared to be batting on a different level altogether.
In their last two matches, they have chased down totals with remarkable ease, although one of those didn't require much effort anyway. Against Shivamogga Lions, in their most recent match, their bowlers didn't do as well as they did in their game before that, but their batsmen were as good as any.
Chasing a total of 176 on a decent batting surface, Belgavi Panthers got off to a terrific start with Stalin Hoover smashing Lions' bowlers to all parts of the ground. Even though they lost R Samarth early in the innings, Manish Pandey and Stalin Hoover combined well to take them home as they cruised home with nine wickets to spare. Stalin Hoover's return to form will be a huge relief for their management. With Pandey and Hoover in such fine form and the likes of Kunain Abbas and A Manohar to follow, they have a terrific batting lineup which will not be easy to handle for the Bulls' bowlers.
Bowling-wise as well, they have been doing pretty well in the tournament so far with their performance against Bengaluru Blasters the pick of all. All in all, the Panthers have a pretty good team which is further strengthened by the arrival of Manish Pandey, and won't be easy to defeat going forward in the tournament.
Ritesh Bhatkal, Kaunain Abbas, Ravikumar Samarth, Abhinav Manohar, Dikshanshu Negi, Stallin Hoover, AS Brar, MB Darshan, D Avinash, Shubang Hegde, Zahoor Farooqui.
Bijapur Bulls have had a terrible tournament up until now, but they will have an opportunity to turn it around when they face Belgavi Panthers in their upcoming fixture. They are currently placed sixth in the points table with four points to their name. Even though a win in their forthcoming will push them to the third spot, provided other results go their way, their inferior net run-rate might come into picture if a couple of other teams also get to six points.
They are coming off a heart-wrenching defeat in their previous match, which was against Hubli Tigers. Batting first on an even batting surface, on a rain-hit day, their batsmen failed to get going as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Barring Raju Bhatkal, who scored 67 off just 53 deliveries, none of their batsmen could stick around as they folded for only 119.
The defense of such a low total was never going to be easy, but their bowlers did well to make a match out of it. S Kamath and NP Bhareth did well together as they gave away just 25 runs in 6 overs combined and picked up four wickets in the process. Their opening bowlers, however, failed to put any pressure whatsoever, which eventually resulted in a close loss for them.
GS Chiranjeevi, Bharat Chipli, Raju Bhatkal, Swapnil Yelave, Jeshwanth Acharya, Suneel Raju, Gneshwar Naveen, NP Bhareth, KC Cariappa, Prateek Jain, Suraj Kamath.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team prediction for the upcoming Karnataka Premier League match to be played between Belgavi Panthers and Bijapur Bulls
While Bijapur Bulls had a decent start to the competition after winning the last edition of the tournament, they failed to sustain the momentum they had. Such has been the downfall in their form that they've won just one game in their last four matches. On the other hand, Belgavi Panthers have looked an entirely new unit after the addition of Manish Pandey. With a formidable batting unit and a bowling unit that has done pretty well in their last few matches, Belgavi Panthers are better placed to emerge on top in the upcoming fixture.
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