Bengaluru, August 23: Belagavi Panthers finally got off the blocks, scoring their first win in the Karnataka Premier League here on Friday (August 23).
Up against Bengaluru Blasters, Manish Pandey and Co put up a comprehensive display to pull off an eight-wicket win in pursuit their 110 for 8 in 20 overs.
Pandey's fiery 58 not out and his 76-run third-wicket alliance with Abhinav Manohar (22 not out) guided the Panthers to 115 for 2 in 11.5 overs after they elected to bowl first.
While Pandey and Manohar were the ones who came up with the brutal finishing touch, it was Panthers' bowlers who set the game up in their favour.
Having failed to defend 180 against the Hubli Tigers on Wednesday, the bowling unit was under pressure to deliver, but the Blasters made their life easier by throwing their wickets away at the most inopportune moments.
Blasters crawled their way to a meagre 30 for 1 in the first five overs, and they lost the effervescent Rohan Kadam (1) in the process. Sharath BR (32), the other opener, looked the best off the lot and even he was struggling to put the Panthers away.
MB Darshan, the paceman, was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with three wickets. Zahoor Farooqui and Ritesh Bhatkal bagged two wickets apiece. Wickets in regular intervals and a stringent set of overs meant the Blasters could only reach 49 runs in 10 overs.
To Blasters' dismay, the next ten over only yielded 61 runs. The 50-run alliance between Jonathan Rongsen (28) and Nikin Jose (21) was the sole bright spot in an otherwise poor batting show.
As expected rain was a feature in the game, arriving at 4:04 pm, but it was a brief spell and no overs were lost, meaning the Panthers had plenty of time to chase down the small total.
Panthers lost their openers inside the sixth over, but Pandey, who scored an unbeaten century in the previous game, wasn't about to let that minor detail change the course of the game.
Pandey, who will not be available for the Panthers after this game owing to his India A commitments, took the Blasters to the cleaners. Manohar was no less attacking as the duo chased it down in an innings which lasted a mere 71 balls.
Brief scores: Bengaluru Blasters 110 in 8 in 20 overs (Sharath BR 32, Jonathan Rongsen 29, Nikin Jose 21; Zahoor Farooqui 2-23, Darshan MB 3-27, Ritesh Bhatkal 2-7) vs Belagavi Panthers 115 for 2 in 11.5 overs (Manish Pandey 58 not out, Abhinan Manohar 22 not out) by eight wickets.
Source: Media Release