About the Match
The Panthers defeated Rockstars by 9 wickets to accumulate 6 points and they are now placed 5th on the table; they will take on Mangalore, who have slipped down to the 7th position after suffering another defeat this time against the Tigers, on 29th September at Hubballi. While the Panthers spinners demolished the Rockstars batting line-up to just 87 and the batsmen chased it down just 8 overs, the Mangalore bowlers failed to defend a competitive score of 173 against Tigers. This is a crucial match for Panthers if they want to make it to the next stage; on the other hand, Mangalore also will try to keep its hopes alive by putting up a better performance on Thursday.
Vishwanathan and Karun Nair posted a superb 54-run opening stand against Hubli; Nidesh steadied the innings by scoring a well-made 41 while Bhavane and Bhareth kept the runs flowing to take the total to 173 runs. However, the bowlers couldn’t stop the opposition from piling up the required runs despite a superb bowling figure of 3-26 registered by spinner Mitrakanth Yadav and they lost the match by 5 wickets.
In the match against Shivamogga, Gautam and Nair did well to set a strong foundation from the top but the others down the line fell like a pack of cards barring the in-form middle-order batsman Nidesh, who scored 32 off 18 balls. With just 143 runs to defend, the bowlers felt the pressure creep up failing to get breakthroughs in the middle and they lost the match by 7 wickets.
While the bowlers haven’t been able to step up the ante till now, they do have the resources to make a much-needed comeback. The top-order has been performing well and if the others can put their best foot forward, then surely Mangalore can still make a turnaround for the better.
It was a field day for the spinners as Bharadwaj took a superb 3-12 and others like Shinde, Dubey and Akshay took 2 scalps each to restrict Rockstars to a meagre 87 runs in 18 overs. Mayank Agarwal then single-handedly took the team across the finish line with a brilliant 66 off 31; Kaunain Abbas contributed well with 19 runs and remained unbeaten to help the team win by 9 wickets.
In the previous match against Tuskers, the captain decided to use all available armoury in the bowling department to stifle the opposition in their run-chase for 129 runs but despite regular wickets they lost the match by 5 wickets through the VJD method. They have a good variety in pace and spin, and their recent victory has surely boosted their morale to come up with a good fight here.
The batting line-up has talented players like Agarwal, Abbas and Manager, who are in good form to provide stable partnerships; others down the line can help get the required runs on the board and the spin attack surely makes them the team to look out for on Thursday.
Mangalore has tried to fight well but they continue to face heart-wrenching defeats this season; with the competition heating up, this could be their last chance to redeem themselves. On the other hand, Panthers who have had a mixed run so far will be eager to continue with their winning momentum and look better placed to emerge victorious and keep their campaign alive