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Just a few matches remaining in the ongoing Karnataka Premier League, and as we move into the Mysore leg of the tournament, things are expected to clear out as far as qualification scenarios are concerned. The first match of the second leg of the competition is set to begin with Shivamogga Lions taking on Belgavi Panthers, who both have had contrasting campaigns so far. The two teams are scheduled to meet at Srikantadatta Narasimha Raja Wadiyar Ground, Mysore, on 25th August. With just ten matches to go in the league stage, each point carries significant importance, and we expect both the sides to fight to out till the last ball. A cracker of a contest is undoubtedly on the cards on Sunday.
Belgavi Panthers had a poor start to the tournament, failing to do anything of substance in any of their first three matches. They managed to register a win in their fourth match, their last game, on the back of a superb performance by their bowlers and consequently moved up the ladder to the fifth spot. Even though they have just three points to their name, an excellent net run-rate of +1.1 should give them a bit of comfort should things get tight towards the end of the league stage.
Belgavi Panthers' batting looked a little fragile on paper before the arrival of Manish Pandey, but now that he has joined, the difference is well and truly apparent. He immediately made a difference to their batting as he smacked a superb 102 not-out, albeit in a losing cause, followed by a brilliant 58 as the Panthers rampaged past Blasters by eight wickets. Apart from him, however, their batting hasn't looked convincing at all and will need to step up with next few matches being crucial in the context of qualification for the next round.
Contrary to their batting, their bowling has done pretty well so far with Zahoor Farooqi and Rithesh Bhatkal being picks of their bowlers. In their last match as well, the Panthers did exceedingly well to restrict Bengaluru Blasters to just 110 in 20 overs before their batsmen chased down the total with remarkable ease. MB Darshan returned with the stupendous figures of 3 for 27 in his four overs. Their batting sealed the deal with eight wickets in hand and more than eight overs to spare.
Ravikumar Samarth, Stallin Hoover, Dikshanshu Negi, Manish Pandey, Abhinav Manohar, Shubang Hegde, Kaunain Abbas, Ritesh Bhatkal, D Avinash, MB Darshan, Zahoor Farooqui.
Just a couple of days ago, Shivamogga Lions were supremely placed at the top of the table, but a loss to Bellary Tuskers has pushed them to the second spot in the points table. They've won three of their four matches and have six points to their name. A massive loss in their previous game, to Bellary Tuskers, hampered their net run-rate as it slid from +0.982 to -0.29.
For the Lions, their batting has done pretty well with Nihal Ullal being their key batsmen. He has scored over 150 runs in four innings and will be a key player for the Lions in the upcoming fixture. Alongside him, the addition of Pavan Deshpande has made a massive difference as compared to their last year's campaign. Deshpande continued to build on his superb form in the tournament as he smashed 46 off just 37 deliveries, albeit in a losing cause.
On the bowling front, however, the Lions have looked dismal at times. It was apparent in their previous match as well wherein despite making early inroads; their bowlers failed to contain the Tuskers as K Gowtham ripped apart their bowling. Barring T Pradeep, who has six wickets to his name in the tournament so far, none of their bowlers have been effective, which will be a considerable cause of concern for their management.
Akshay Ballal returned to their playing eleven in the previous match, and even though the Lions failed to emerge on top, we expect them to take the same playing eleven in the next game. Overall, the Lions have a pretty good side on paper, and if their bowling can complement their in-form batting, they can be a force to deal with.
Arjun Hoysala, Nihal Ullal, Akshay Ballal, Pavan Deshpande, Abhimanyu Mithun, MD Nidheesh, HS Sharath, SP Manjunath, Prithviraj Shekawat, Sujith Gowda, T Pradeep.
Check out the Dream11 lineup for the Karnataka Premier League match, which is to be played between Belgavi Panthers and Shivamogga Lions
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Although the two teams have had contrasting results in the tournament, on the whole, the Panthers have improved to a massive extent since the arrival of Manish Pandey. Shivamogga Lions, on the other hand, stuttered in their last match after having a tremendous run in the first three matches. They have an apparent weakness in their bowling department, which appears to be a little too over-reliant on T Pradeep. Considering the overall team combinations and recent results, we think Belgavi Panthers are more likely to emerge on top in the upcoming fixture.
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