Mysuru, Sep 6: Bijapur Bulls became the first team in the history of Karnataka Premier League (KPL) to lift the cup for the second time. They had earlier won in 2015.
The Bharath Chipli-led side completely dominated the final at the SDNR Wadiyar Stadium, handing the hapless Bengaluru Blasters a seven-wicket defeat, incidentally their first loss in the tournament.
In the last six editions of the league, there have been as many different winners. The tournament, organised by the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), started in 2009.
Boosted by another stellar performance from their star left-arm spinner KP Appanna, whose skills ensured that the Bulls were up against the lowest ever target in a KPL, the Bulls chased down Blasters' paltry total of 101 inside the 14th over.
All-rounder MG Naveen led the reply with a 31-ball 43 (4x5, 2x6), his 47-run opening stand with skipper Bharath Chipli (18, 19b, 4x4) from 6.3 overs, ensuring a smooth passage to the title. Naveen had earlier picked up two 19 after his skipper Chipli had decided to bowl first. The Blasters came up with a terrible performance to be bowled out for a poor 101 off the last ball of the 20th and final over.
Mission #NammaKPL 🏆 accomplished!— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) September 6, 2018
Bijapur Bulls cruise to their 2nd title in 4⃣ years after a 7-wicket win against Bengaluru Blasters in the big finale! #CongratulationsBijapurBulls pic.twitter.com/vUWZ6SfqDH
As bad as the Blasters batting was, Appanna's bowling was exemplary. He had got two crucial wickets in the semifinal, ending with two for 28 against Hubli Tigers, but on Thursday night at the packed SDNR Wadiyar Stadium, he went one better with three for 16 from his four overs.
Season 7 of the KPL has kept audiences at the edge of their seats. A runaway success when compared to the preceding seasons, this year saw an exponential increase in not just television viewership, but in packed stadiums and resounding support throughout the season.
Here's the full list of award winners of KPL 2018:
The Winners - Bijapur Bulls - Cash INR 10,00,000/-
Runners-up - Bengaluru Blasters - Cash INR 5,00,000.
The second and third runners-up teams - Hubli Tigers & Mysuru Warriors - Cash INR 2,50,000/-each.
Man of the match (Final): MG Naveen
Man of the Series: Bharath Chipli
Best Batsman: Bharath Chipli
Best Fielder of the series: Stuart Binny
Purple Cap: Mahesh Patel
Orange Cap: Bharath Chipli
2009 - Bangalore Provident (Rural)
2010 - Mangalore United
2011, 2012, 2013 - Tournament not played
2014 - Mysuru Warriors
2015 - Bijapur Bulls
2016 - Bellary Tuskers
2017 - Belagavi Panthers.