Mysuru Warriors couldn’t have picked a better time to bag their maiden win in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL), as they notched a comprehensive nine-wicket victory against Hubli Tigers in front of home crowd.
Arriving for the Mysuru leg without a win under their belt, the pressure was on Amit Verma’s men to deliver. With the support of 2000-plus people under their sails, they restricted the Tigers to 151 for 8 in 20 overs before scaling the target, rather nonchalantly, in the 16 over.
The Warriors finished on 154 for 1 with stellar shows from N.S. Vinay (51), K.V. Siddharth (48 not out) and Aniruddha Joshi, who scored an unbeaten 46 from 17 balls, to keep alive their hope for a spot in the playoffs.
While their chances are slim with just four points from five games, this win will give them all the confidence necessary to put the right foot forward in their final league engagement against the Ballari Tuskers. A win there and favourable results from other contests could just see them in the knock-out round. And Warriors have their pacemen to thank for this foot in the door.
After electing to bowl, the three pacers Warriors used on the day — Vyshak Vijaykumar, Ram Sarikh Yadav and M. Venkatesh — went for a combined 86 runs in 11 overs and picked up six wickets between them.
Ram Sarikh, a slingy paceman who last played in the KPL in 2016, was on point, bowling a maiden at the start before ending with figures of 2 for 26 from four overs. Vijaykumar ended with figures of 2 for 30 in three overs, including a double-wicket maiden at the start of the game. M. Venkatesha bagged two, conceding 30 runs in his four-over quota.
Pravin Dubey, as has been the case through the tournament, was in fine fettle scoring 52 in 33 balls, but his effort could only take the Tigers as far as 151.
On a surface which had only just witnessed the Belagavi Panthers score 180 runs in 14.4 overs, Tigers’ tally wasn’t going to be enough, not without some luck for the bowlers.
The rub of the green, though, didn’t go their way with the ball either. The 91-run first-wicket alliance between Vinay and Siddharth effectively killed the contest for the Tigers. Siddharth stuck around after Vinay’s dismissal and completed formalities with Joshi, who flexed his T20 credentials to enthral the locals.
Hubli Tigers: 151 for 8 in 20 overs (Luvnith Sisodia 29, Pravin Dubey 52; Vyshak Vijaykumar 2-30, Ram Sarikh Yadav 2-26, M. Venkatesh 2-30) lost to Mysuru Warriors: 154 for 1 in 16 overs (Vinay Sagar 51, K.V. Siddharth 48 not out, Aniruddha Joshi 46 not out) by nine wickets.
Shivamogga Lions: 175 for 4 in 20 overs (Arjun Hoysala 77, Abhimanyu Mithun 22, Pavan Deshpande 59; D. Avinash 3-32) lost to Belagavi Panthers: 180 for 1 in 14.4 overs (Stallin Hoover 108 not out, Manish Pandey 53 not out).