About the Match
Bellary Tuskers caused a major upset, knocking out table-toppers Mysore Warriors from the tournament by winning their semi-final match by 10 runs; they will take on Hubli Tigers, who booked their berth in the finals by defeating Panthers by 4 wickets, in the title clash at Hubballi on 2nd October. Hubli chased down 156 runs against Panthers to make it here and they will try to exploit the home advantage to win the coveted prize. On the other hand, Bellary, which gained momentum in the latter part of the league to make it to the top-four, has proved to be a tough unit to crack and can repeat the winning performance here.
Although Kunal Kapoor or Mohammad Taha, who have been in very good form through the league, couldn’t impress much with the bat in the semifinal, other batsmen like Negi, Bharath and all-rounder Chethan William took charge and ensured to steer the team across the finish line during the chase for 156 against Panthers. William contributed with an unbeaten 39 off just 13 balls and also took 3 wickets in the first innings to give their team the required advantage; he is a strong asset for the team and can do well in the upcoming match.
Other bowlers like Sreenath Aravind, Kaushik and Kranthi Kumar took a wicket each and add depth to the attack along with others like Sarfaraz Ashraf and Hoover; when they met Bellary earlier in the league, Chethan William had been instrumental in restricting the opposition to 164 by taking a superb 3-20. With the target reduced to 139 in 16 overs, the batsmen combined well to win the match by 7 wickets.
Taha, Kapoor and William had performed well against the Tuskers bowlers and they can try to build solid partnerships here too; after a strong performance in the semi-finals, Hubli surely looks well placed to get the desired result on Sunday.
Pawan and Kadam, who have been consistently putting up solid foundation for the team as openers, posted a well-made 55 run opening stand against Mysuru in the semi-finals. Pawan scored a brilliant 62 off 47 while Kadam contributed with 28; all-rounder Amit Verma supported well by scoring 32 off 25 to take the score to 157 and came back in the second innings to defend the total by taking 2-24 with his leg break.
Spinner Anil and medium pacers Prasidh Krishna and Lazarus provided a wicket each to stifle the Warriors and with some brilliant fielding, they ousted Mysuru from the tournament by pulling off a semi-final win in an emphatic way. When they met Hubli Tigers before, the batting line-up had done very well to post a formidable 164 but the bowlers failed to put up a disciplined performance and lost the match in the end.
Overall, they have cleverly used their resources to outwit their opponents and with their focused approach can definitely try to win the title.
Both teams have done well till now and managed to topple strong teams; the contest will surely see lots of fireworks but the team that can keep a cool head above its shoulders will have an upper hand. While Hubli has the home advantage and their consistent performance gives them the edge, we feel that Bellary Tuskers who caused a major upset today will be aiming to hit big in the evening of the final. Considering the form, team on-paper, and the previous encounter, we think that Hubli Tigers will win the KPL title on Sunday