Bellary Tuskers secured a comfortable six-wicket victory against Bengaluru Blasters in Karnataka Premier League 2017 match on Saturday, September 16, at the KSCA Rajnagar Stadium in Hubli, riding on 17-year-old Devdutt Padikkal's 53-ball 72.
In a match reduced to an 18-overs-a-side encounter, Bellary reached their target of 124 in 17.2 overs.
It meant the fine efforts of another 17-year-old, Nikin Jose, who scored a 33-ball 55 to help revive Bengaluru's innings after they were reduced to 63 for 6, went in vain. The victory gave Bellary their second win of the campaign, and they're now just one point behind the teams placed second to fifth.
As for Bengaluru, it was a sixth straight loss in their final match of the tournament.
Padikkal and Kapoor were aggressive right from the outset, attacking whenever the opportunity presented itself. The strategy silenced the usually incisive Bengaluru attack. They ensured there were boundaries almost every over, but really turned it on in the sixth when V Koushik was taken for 14 runs.
The maximums came out shortly thereafter, Padikkal shifting gears by going down on his knee to slog Mitrakanth Yadav and Pranav Bhatia over the ropes. Meanwhile, Kunal Kapoor picked the gaps at the other end, happy to rotate strike and put away the loose deliveries.
Padikkal brought up his half-century off 35 balls, and just carried on in excellent nick, timing the ball exquisitely. Kapoor (40) holed out off Koushik, late in the day, and he was followed by Abhinav Manohar (2) and Amit Verma (2). In the final over, even Padikkal was bowled by Jose, but it was too little too late for Bengaluru.
Brief scores: Bengaluru Blasters 123 for 8 in 18 overs (Nikin Jose 55; Prateek Jain 3-30, Bhavesh Gulecha 3-21) lost to Bellary Tuskers 127 for 4 in 17.2 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 72, Kunal Kapoor 40; V Koushik 2-27) by six wickets.
Leaders Belagavi in strong position before rain
Earlier in the day, the clash between Namma Shivamogga and Belagavi Panthers seemed to be a cracker, but a powerful bout of rain in Hubli forced the match to be abandoned after just 11.4 overs of play.
Shivamogga were struggling at 75 for 6 when rain interrupted play and eventually forced abandonment. It was the first match of a double-header.
The skies opened up at about 4.13pm but the force of the downpour was such that, despite a long wait during which the groundsmen and Super Soppers were on overdrive, play remained impossible. There were inspections at 5.20pm and then at 5.50pm, but with prognosis increasingly negative, the match was officially called off at 6.20pm.
Brief scores: Namma Shivamogga 75 for 6 in 11.4 overs (Shoaib Manager 19*; Stuart Binny 1-9) v Belagavi Panthers (match called off due to rain, points shared).