By Sudharsan Ramarao
United Warriors Win Comfortably Against The Highlanders
Losing the toss and being put in to bat first, the United Warriors put on a dominating batting display by piling on 170 runs at the beautiful Silver Lake Park, their highest score of the season so far. Opener Harsh Jogi and Bharathwaj Samavedam coming in at number 3 put on a century partnership and kept the Highlanders at bay for the first 17 overs. Harsh Jogi, who played an excellent innings of 97 not out against Highlanders couple of seasons ago, was back to his best against the Highlanders.
Surviving a dropped caught behind chance when he was on two, Harsh otherwise played a sublime innings stroking runs on either side of the wicket. He and Bharath played risk free cricket by picking up easy singles on offer and milked runs of the Highlanders without much effort.
And whenever there was an opportunity to cash in, Harsh was at it instantly either lofting it over the infield or crashing it through the vacant gaps. His supple wrist work combined with a good hand eye coordination helped him to maneuver all bowlers with ease. The shot of the day came of his bat when he stunningly scooped the medium pacer Bilal Zadran over the fine leg that almost went for a six. In all he scored 5 boundaries and a huge six in his stroke filled innings of 75. Bharathwaj on the other end played the second fiddle to Harsh by holding one end and giving the strike back to Harsh. He scored a breezy 35 that had 2 boundaries.
United Warriors were 103 for 1 in 15 overs and looked like they were running away to a big score. But the Highlanders pulled things back in the second half by picking up the last 9 wickets for just 67 runs. Ashok Adikoppula, the highlanders skipper and Bilal Zadran did most of the damage by picking 3 wickets a piece.
Chasing 171 to win in 25 overs, owing to the penalty for a late show to the game, the Highlanders were never in the chase. Playing with only 4 batsmen, Highlanders lost their opener Sudharsan Ramarao in their 3rd over of the chase and then never looked like they were into the chase. Ashok and Rahul Kadle offered brief resistance taking the innings past the 50-run mark but that was never enough as the Highlanders folded for just 82 in 24.3 overs. For the Warriors, Harsh Jogi, Gopal Donepudi, Sivaram Bandi picked up 2 wickets a piece. For his match winning all round performance, Harsh Jogi was adjudged the man of the match.
Gujarat Lions Beat The Panthers In A Low Scoring Thriller
Winning the toss and batting first, the Gujarat Lions lost way after a promising start folding for 116 in 28 overs. Openers Ankit Patel and Chinmay Ghag started confidently by playing the balls on merit and waited for the loose balls.
Both played solid cricket and got a 50 runs opening stand by their 10th over. Chinmay Ghag made 21 while Ankit Patel made 20 at which point Panthers stuck a twin blow to the Lions by removing both the openers in back to back deliveries.
From there the Lions lost their way as the Panthers bowlers stormed their way in to the Lion’s middle order by picking up wickets cheaply. Dinesh Bharadwaj and Naren Polaki were the chief tormentors as they picked up 3 and 2 wickets respectively.
Coming in to the game on the back of a 5-wicket haul against the Highlanders, Dinesh showed lots of composure in sticking to a wicket to wicket line that forced the batsmen to play every ball. Ajaypal Reddy and Ankur singh were the only other batsmen to cross 2 figures as the Lions got all out for 116.
Chasing 117 to win from their 30 overs, the Panthers started their chase on a disastrous note losing their batting mainstay Kiran Vishnu in the very first over of the chase. That opened the floodgates for the Lions as they sliced the Panthers top order in no time by picking up 5 wickets in the first 7 overs thereby pushing the Panthers on to the back foot. Bhavik Dalsania, the Lions skipper and Mansij Rai Sharma picked 4 of those wickets.
Just when the match was looking out of hand for the Panthers, Abhinav Kendurkar, who came in at 4, emerged a hero by stitching a fighting 6th wicket partnership with Naren Polaki. Abhinav started off with a bang hitting 2 sixes in an over off the Lions skipper Bhavik Dalsania and then settled in to play the long innings. He and Naren successfully defied the Lions bowling and took the panthers 16 runs away from the target. That’s when the eventual Man of the match Mansij Rai Sharma came in to the attack and struck a double blow by removing the well set Abhinav and Krishna in the same over.
The panthers then lost the remaining 3 wickets in the next 2 overs and crumbled to a heart-breaking defeat. Mansij’ s figures at the end of the game read an impressive 5-3-4-5 and for this excellent spell, he was adjudged the man of the match.
Good Vibes Succumb To DB-ES In A Huge Upset
Cricket is a funny old game. One day you could be on top of your game and chase 102 in 10 overs and on another day, you could crawl your way to the same 102. Just as in life, cricket is full of ups and downs and that’s what makes every cricketing game unique from the other. Good vibes, the T20 champions from last year and the current T10 champions, learnt it the tough way by losing a hard-fought game against the newbies DB-ES.
Winning the toss and electing to bat, Good vibes started off on a rocky note losing heaps of wickets upfront. SaiKiran Manthuri, the opening bowler of DB-ES, was bang on target from the start and priced out Renny Jainabi, the dangerous and stylish Good vibes opener for just 3 and then Gavin Narine for a duck. From there the Good vibes kept losing wickets at regular intervals and stumbled to 57 for 7 in 17 overs. Steven Mangal, their skipper and opener, made an attacking 22 and was the sole contributor till this point.
That’s when Jay singh and Pim P got together and gave the Good vibes the much-needed runs. Jay played an attacking cameo of 21 from just 15 balls and helped Good vibes reach 102. For DB-ES, Sai Kiran Manthuri picked up 3 wickets while Akshay Kumar, Ankur Bhanot and Danny Joseph picked 2 wickets a piece.
Defending 102, the Good vibes gave the DB-ES a run for their money fighting tooth and nail and pushing DB-ES to the brink of a defeat. But Db-ES held on to their nerves and reached their target with 4 balls to spare. Steven Mangal and Mathew Persaud, the opening bowlers of good vibes put early pressure on DB-ES and picked up crucial wickets. DB-ES was left stranded at 29 for 5 in 13 overs.
Vishal Thummala, the DB-ES skipper then joined hands with Sai Kiran Manthuri, the wrecker in chief with the ball and strung together a much-needed partnership. Vishal made 18 while SaiKiran made an attacking 33 of just 25 balls that included 2 huge sixers.
Good Vibes soon broke this partnership and made inroads in to the lower order. But the tail enders of DB-ES Pramod Yuvaraja and Vikas Kalakonda eventually held on to their nerves and completed the huge upset over the good Vibes. For his all-round performance that aided this upset win, SaiKiran Manthuri was adjudged the man of the match.