|The solidity of Mithun Beerala and aggression of Gaurav Dhiman guided Bijapur Bulls to a fine seven-wicket win over Belagavi Panthers in the Mantri Karnataka Premier League at the M Chinnaswamy stadium here on Wednesday.|
Chasing 159 under lights could be a tough task, but the Bulls managed it, mounting a mature chase to halt Panthers’ three-match winning streak. Panthers earlier made 158 for eight after being asked to bat.LASHING OUT: Bijapur Bulls’ Mithun Beerala drives during his match-winning knock of 64 against Belagavi Panthers in Bangalore on Wednesday.DH Photo / Srikanta Sharma R
Once man of the match Beerala (64, 52b, 4x4, 3x6) and Dhiman (60, 45b, 4x4, 3x6) added 111 runs for the opening wicket, there was hardly any doubt over the winner.
Beerala added another 40 runs for the second wicket with Stuart Binny to seal the match. Dhiman was a little more eye-catching during the opening wicket alliance but Beerala’s calm presence at the other end was the real pillar on which the Bulls built their victory march.
If Beerala resorted to more sedate ways, opening his shoulders only when it demanded, Dhiman relished playing cross-batted swats and mighty heaves over long-on and mid-off to stack up runs while training special attention on left-arm spinner Santosh Vadeyaraj, carting him for 16 runs in his second over.
Earlier, Panthers went through late-innings doldrums after J Arun Kumar and Manish Pandey gave them a blistering start for the opening wicket that yielded 64 runs.
Arun (73, 56b, 3x4, 6x6) played an innings full of characteristic daredevilry after getting two reprieves even before he crossed the two-digit mark. The powerful right-hander made the Bulls pay dearly for their carelessness, putting them under the axe mercilessly.
He could not find the flow early on, playing some laborious drives and cuts that went straight to the fielders.
But at the other end, Pandey was in fine fettle and the possibility of another hundred loomed large.
Arun too came into his own with some mighty shots over the covers and through mid-wicket, but just as the partnership was growing into alarming proportions Pandey lost his wicket. After smashing Binny for a six, the Bangalore lad played a pull that did not have the power to clear Surendra Prasad in the deep.
After the run out of Shyam Ponnappa, Arun and Suraj Sampath pulverised the Bulls attack to take their team to a commanding position.
At 121 for two, Panthers were on the threshold of a huge score. But the dismissal of Arun — stumped by Devraj Patil off Daniel Liao — and Sampath pushed the Panthers batsmen into a limbo.
BELAGAVI PANTHERS: J Arun Kumar st Patil b Liao 73; Manish Pandey c Surendra b Binny 27; Shyam Ponnappa (run out) 3; Suraj Sampath b Anish 20; R Vinay Kumar b Anish 12; Vinay Uthappa c Praveen b Binny 13; Zeeshan Ali Sayed (run out) 6; Ramling Patil lbw Binny 0; David Johnson (not out) 0; Extras (LB-2, W-2) 4; Total (for 8 wkts, 20 overs) 158.
Fall of wickets: 1-64, 2-70, 3-121, 4-128, 5-149, 6-156, 7-156, 8-158.
Bowling: Jaya Prakash Shetty 3-0-21-0, Abhishek Jagan 3-0-31-0, DV Anish 4-0-32-2, Stuart Binny 4-0-23-3; Daniel Liao 4-0-36-1, Praveen Kumar 2-0-13-0.
BIJAPUR BULLS: Mithun Beerala b R Vinay 64; Gaurav Dhiman c Arun b Johnson 60; Stuart Binny c V Uthappa b Johnson 22; Devraj Patil (not out) 4; Sudhindra Shinde (not out) 3; Extras (LB-1, W-5) 6; Total (for 3 wkts, 19.1 overs) 159.
Fall of wickets: 1-111, 2-151, 3-151.
Bowling: Vinay Kumar 4-1-23-1, Johnson 4-0-30-2, R Madhusudan 4-0-31-0, Vadeyaraj 3-0-36-0, Ramling Patil 3.1-0-25-0, Sayed 1-0-13-0.