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|Mohammed Niyaz Nisar||3.0||0||28||0||9.33|
The Panthers appear to have bounced back after a dismal outing in their first match and are well on track to the qualification for the playoffs. Unless something drastic happens, another win should be enough for them to book a semi-final berth. They'll be looking to get it soon, in their next game, which they play on 31st August 2018 at Srikantadatta Narasimha Raja Wadeyar Ground, Mysore against Mysuru Warriors. The Warriors are the team with the least number of games played thus far but have done reasonably well to get to four points. They've had two good wins and a loss in between. A win will be equally critical for them and will certainly boost their chances for the qualification. With so much resting on this game, as far as qualification for the next round is concerned, expect both the teams to come hard and put their best foot forward in the upcoming match.
Just like the Panthers, the Warriors, too, are coming on the back of a win against Shivamogga Lions. Unlike their last match, the Warriors were clinical and eventually sealed the chase with six wickets in hand.
Bowling first after being unlucky at the toss, the Warriors did not have a great powerplay as the Lions got to 50 for 1 at the end of it. It all, however, started happening for them after the spinners were introduced into the attack. Kushal Wadhwani and Amit Verma strangled the Lions in the middle-overs and their spells coupled with some excellent fielding restricted Shivamogga Lions to a paltry total of 146.
It was only a matter of time for the Warriors to chase the target as Raju Bhatkal and Arjun Hoysala got them off the match-defining start. It was an exhibition of great batsmanship which included everything from delicate late-cuts to fierce pulls. They lost a couple of wickets in between, but a composed innings of 25 from Shoaib Manager saw them home with 16 balls to go and six wickets in hand.
Arjun Hoysala, Raju Bhatkal, Amit Verma, Shoaib Manager, NP Bhareth, Jagadeesha Suchith, Srinivas Sharath, Krishnamurthy Siddharth, Kushal Wadhwani, Vyshak Vijaykumar, Prateek Jain.
The Panthers haven't looked back ever since their defeat in the first game of the tournament, to Bengaluru Blasters. They've had one game washed out since then and a couple of games which they won quite comfortably. They did pretty well in their last game too which was against Shivamogga Lions.
Winning the toss and fielding first, the Panthers started well and had the Lions at 100 for 5 after the end of 15th over. However, a poor show of death bowling along with incredible hitting from Abhimanyu Mithun and Anirudha Joshi took the total to 163. The Lions scored 55 runs in 24 balls for the sixth wicket.
Panthers needed a good start from their openers and Dikshanshu Negi did not disappoint. He played a quick 54-run knock and was well aided by little but useful cameos from Stuart Binny and S Rakshith. Despite their efforts, Panthers were staring at yet another defeat with 45 needed off 32 deliveries and their main batsmen back in the hut. D Avinash played a game-changing knock of 35 n.o. to take them over the line with three balls to spare.
Dikshanshu Negi, Stalin Hoover, S Rakshith, STR Binny, D Avinash, M Nidish, HS Sharath, Akshay Ballal, S Prashanth, Shubang Hegde, Mohammed Niyaz Nisar.
Karnataka Premier League appeared to lose its shine with a few matches washed out earlier in the tournament, but a few close games have brought the excitement back. Belgavi Panthers and Mysuru Warriors will be fighting for two points which will be crucial for both the sides, as far as qualification to the next round is concerned. Mysuru Warriors have appeared to be a better-balanced side in the tournament with almost all of their batsmen in good form. The Panthers appear to be a little too over-reliant on their all-rounders to take them home. With a better spin attack and an in-form batting lineup, the Warriors are favorites to win this important upcoming fixture.