Mysuru, Septemebr 2: One team was playing for pride and the other for a third place finish in the league stage as against a fourth place. Pride lost but just about as Bijapur Bulls, set a modest 141 to get in their KPL 2018 match against Shivamogga Lions, huffed and puffed their way to a two-wicket win that came with just one ball to spare.
That it got so close despite a 37-ball 62-run second wicket association between skipper and opener Bharath Chipli (43, 18b, 7x4, 1x6) and Kaunian Abbas (51, 45b, 4x4, 2x6) tells a tale. Chipli was in ominous touch from the word go but once he was brilliantly caught on the long on fence by Aditya Somanna, things started to unravel for the Bulls.
Abbas himself gave the game away when with just 29 required off the last five overs, he chose to go for a big shot only to be caught at deep midwicket. Fortunately for his side, Suneel Raju struck two big sixes, first in the 19th and then finally the winning hit in the final over when four were required in two balls, to spare Bijapur the blushes.
Shivamogga, on the other hand, are still winless after five games and have one game on hand, against fellow strugglers Ballari Tuskers.
Earlier, Shivamogga, asked to bat first, got off to a brisk start with their openers BR Sharath and Nihal Ullal looking in good touch. As many as 27 runs came off the first two overs sent down by pacers Bhavesh Gulecha and Suraj Kamath respectively, forcing Chipli to turn to his trump card Cariappa. The right-arm spinner immediately stemmed the flow of runs giving a mere three runs in the third over.
Encouraged by that Chipli turned to the left arm spin of Appanna for the fourth. The first delivery was slightly short and wide of off-stump, allowing Ullal to free his arms. The batsman hadn't accounted for the slight away turn though and the resultant mishit was brilliantly held one-handed by a diving Gulecha at wide short third man. And with the final ball of his first over, Appanna (4-0-21-4), later named Man of the Match, castled Sharath, blows Shivamogga never really recovered from.
There was some resistance from the 6th wicket pair of Adoksh Hegde (42, 34b, 5x4) and Aditya Somanna (37, 29b, 1x4, 1x6) as they added 62 from 46 balls, but then the Bijapur pacers came back well in the end to concede just 41 in the final five overs and make it easy for their batsmen, who though chose to take the tough route to victory.
Brief scores: Shivamogga Lions: 140/8 in 20 overs (Rohit K 29, Adoksh Hegde 42, Aditya Somanna 37; Bhavesh Gulecha 3-31, KP Appanna 4-21) lost to Bijapur Bulls: 143/8 in 19.5 overs (Bharath Chipli 43, Kaunian Abbas 51, Suneel Raju 18 n.o.; Aditya Somanna 2-28, Anirudha Joshi 2-15) by two wickets.
Monday's match (Sept 3, 2018) - Shivamogga Lions vs Ballari Tuskers - 6.40 pm, SDNR Wadiyar Stadium, Mysuru.
Live on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD and Hotstar