Man of the Match: Ravikumar Samarth
Will Panthers dream run continue without Manish Pandey?
Our Prediction is Belagavi Panthers to win!
The match number 18 is between Bijapur Bulls and Belagavi Panthers in Mysore. One of the consistent teams in KPL, Bijapur Bulls find themselves in the bottom of the table and they are up against a resurgent Belagavi Panthers who are on a roll with big margin wins from their last two games.
Bijapur Bulls` previous encounter against Hubli Tigers was a nail biter with 12 runs to defend off the last over. Prateek Jain started the over with a dot ball and conceded just 3 runs from his next 3 balls. Then came the costly full tosses from Prateek in his next 2 balls, David Mathias dispatched both the deliveries to boundaries and it was a heartbreak for the Bulls. VJD revised target of 125 was set for the Tigers. Bulls took wickets at regular intervals and reduced the Tigers to 48/5, Pacer Suraj Kamath was the chief architect and finished with figures of 3 for 12 in 3 overs. Batting first Bulls lost Naveen quickly and Captain Chipli battled for a 22 ball 15. Bhatkal was the only player who looked in the scheme of things for the Bulls with a 53 ball 67. Unfortunately, he did not get a partner as Bulls kept losing wickets frequently and finished with 119 from 19 overs before interrupted.
Meanwhile, Belagavi Panthers won the toss and opted to bowl in their match against Lions. Avinash struck early removing the dangerous Ullal. Panthers' spinners failed to make any inroads as the Lions kept on piling the runs as Hoysala and Deshpande had a 100-run partnership. Things were looking bad for the Panthers and their death bowling came to their rescue conceding just 30 runs in their last 4 overs. Avinash returned to pick up 2 wickets and finished with a figure of 3 for 32. The momentum carried on to their batting as the Panthers raced to 68 for 1 in the powerplay. Shivamogga Lions never recovered from the pounding they got from Gowtham, as their bowlers struggled to land the ball in right areas. When all the focus was on Manish Pandey, it was the opener Stalin Hoover who was given back his opening spot and he scored the second-fastest hundred of the KPL. Hoover and Pandey stayed till the end and they built a 136-run partnership. Hoover scored 108 from 50 deliveries including 11 fours and 6 sixes.
Having chased the target of 175 in just 15 overs they have an impressive net run rate of 2.574. Manish Pandey continued to remain unbeaten in this KPL as he moves to the top of the most runs scored in KPL 2019 with 213 runs. A huge blow for Panthers as they will miss the services of Manish Pandey from this game. Not only his batting ability but also his captaincy that will be missed by Panther. He is leaving them to concentrate on his international duty. Pandey has injected a lot of confidence to their team and they are just one win away from qualifying for the playoff. They need their batting to perform collectively if they have any dream of becoming the 2019 KPL champions. Abbas will captain the Panthers in the absence of Pandey
Stallin Hoover: Hoover thrashed the bowlers to all parts and was severe on both pacers and spinners. He will look to continue his hitting in the flat tracks of Mysore His right arm half break will come in handy for the Panthers.
Zahoor Farooqui: He has been a constant performer in their much-improved death bowling. The tall pacer is impressive with his pace in the power plays and his variations in the death overs.
R Samarth, Stallin Hoover, Dikshanshu Negi, Rakshith S, Kaunain Abbas (Wk), Abhinav Manohar, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Ritesh Bhatkal, Shubang Hedge, Avinash D, Zahoor Farooqui, Darshan MB
Ravikumar Samarth, Abhinav Manohar, Ritesh Bhatkal, Kaunain Abbas, AS Brar, Stallin Hoover, MB Darshan, Dikshanshu Negi, Shubang Hegde, Zahoor Farooqui, D Avinash
Bulls are still in contention for qualifying and their positive net run rate will help them if they manage to win the remaining two matches. The middle-order batting needs to step up as they find it difficult when the top order does not do the bulk of run-scoring. Good news is their top three Naveen, Chipli and Bhatkal are all in good touch and they will look to deliver once more. Their spinners Cariappa and Bharath have been economical but they need to pick wickets in the middle overs. Pacers Jain Naveen and Kamath took 6 wickets between them in their previous game.
Bhatkal: He has been a consistent performer for their side and has scores of 67 and 62 in his last three innings. He scores them at a brisk rate and he will continue his middle-order service for Bulls.
Suraj Kamath: The right-arm fast bowler looked good with the limited opportunities given. He is bowing well and has 4 wickets from 2 matches with an economy under 6. He has his task cut out against the Panthers
Naveen MG, Chipli (C), Bhatkal, Jashwanth Acharya, Suneel, Chiranjeevi (WK), Suneel Yelave, Bharath NP, SL Akshay, Suraj Kamath, Cariappa, Prateek Jain
Raju Bhatkal, Suneel Raju, Jeshwanth Acharya, KC Cariappa, GS Chiranjeevi, Suraj Kamath, Swapnil Yelave, NP Bhareth, Bharat Chipli, Prateek Jain, Gneshwar Naveen
The weather looks clear and we can expect a complete match. Close to 400 runs were scored in the 3.00 PM match the previous day. The track looks a belter and the fast outfield means it will be a tough time for the bowlers and the batsman are going to make full use of it.
With the chase percentage high in the Sikantadatta Narasimha Raja Wadiyar Ground, Team winning the Toss would love to chase targets rather than setting them.
Panthers would love to continue this dream run in the absence of Manish Pandey. With the Bulls almost knocking the exit doors Panthers will hope to continue their impressive run. This format mainly clings on momentum and the Panthers have them plenty from their last 2 rampaging wins.
We predict Belagavi Panthers to win this match!