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With quite a few matches already washed-out in the tournament, Karnataka Premier League hasn't got off to the kind of start both the organizers and the teams were looking for. Having said that, Shivamogga Lions and Bellary Tuskers would not be too fussed about that as none of their matches has been affected yet, and they both have won all their games up until now. On the contrary, Belgavi Panthers and Hubli Tigers would be pretty disappointed, not because of the weather, but with the way, they started their campaigns. Panthers and Tigers are set to meet each other in the upcoming KPL fixture, which is to be played at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Wednesday, 21st August.
Hubli Tigers are currently placed right at the bottom of the table and will need to get off the blocks quickly if they want to have any chance whatsoever of getting to the playoffs.
Unlike Belgavi Panthers, they faced a loss in their second match as well wherein the Tuskers just managed to get past them in a closely fought encounter.
In their first encounter of the competition, the margin of their defeat was a lot more pronounced as Shivamogga Lions defeated them by six wickets, severely impacting their net run-rate as well in the process.
With two losses in two matches and an inferior net run-rate of -0.688, it is well and truly apparent that not much has gone right for them. While their batting has looked dismal, their bowling has had a few moments of brilliance. Vinay Kumar and Mitrakanth Yadav have been the picks in their bowling so far, and the Panthers will need them to do well along with ample contributions from their other players.
Mohammad Taha, Luvnith Sisodia, KL Shrijith, KB Pawan, RV Kumar, Shishir Bhavane, Praveen Dubey, David Mathias, Aditya Somanna, Mitrakanth-Yadav, Vidhyadhar Patil.
Panthers will be pretty relieved with the shared points in their previous match as they escaped what looked like a certain hammering in their last fixture. The Panthers are currently placed fifth at the ladder with a loss and a no result to their name.
In their first match of the season, they dragged Belgavi Panthers hard till the final over, but lack of application from their top-order saw them lose the game by a minuscule margin of five runs. Their bowlers did an immaculate job of restricting the Tuskers of a manageable total, but a poor effort from their top order resulted in a heart-wrenching loss for them.
In their last encounter, which was against Mysuru Warriors, they started with the proceedings exceptionally well, but once Warriors' batsmen got their eye in, their bowlers found it challenging. The rain came down when the Warriors were looking at a towering total with 82 for one on the board after 11 overs, and the match was eventually abandoned.
These are still early days in the tournament for them, but the likes of Zahoor Farooqui and Dikshanshu Negi have already proven their worth, up to some extent. They'd need their premier batsman, Manish Pandey, to fire in their upcoming fixtures, and if he can join the party, the Panthers will be a tough unit to crack.
Manish Pandey, Ravikumar Samarth, Stallin Hoover, Abhinav Manohar, Kaunain Abbas, Ritesh Bhatkal, Dikshanshu Negi, AS Brar, Zahoor Farooqui, Shubang Hegde, D Avinash.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy lineup for the 11th Karnataka Premier League fixture, which is to be played between Hubli Tigers and Belgavi Panthers
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While the two teams are a couple of places apart on the ladder, they both have had a similar sort of tournament. Hadn't it been for the rain, the Panthers could be at the bottom of the table. Also, they both lost their matches to Bellary Tuskers after putting up a good fight. In the tournament so far, both the sides have shown a similar style of play and performance, and it is hard to pick between them. Having said that, the Panthers appear to be slightly better balanced as compared to the Tigers, and are, therefore, our pick to emerge on top in the upcoming encounter.
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