Belagavi Panthers got one over the defending champion, Bellary Tuskers, in Karnataka Premier League (KPL) 2017 match on Tuesday (12 September), securing a 25-run victory. Stalin Hoover starred with the bat, scoring a 43-ball 62 to help Bellary set a target of 155 before K Gowtham's 4 for 23 restricted them to 129 for 9 in Mysuru.
The victory helped Belagavi jump past Hubli Tigers to the top of the table with a superior net run-rate.
Put in, Belagavi got off to a blistering start, thanks to Hoover's belligerence. He was dropped on 11 off Amit Verma, and it proved costly. To drive home the point, Hoover hit consecutive boundaries, including a six, off Bhavesh Gulecha in the next over. His partner, BR Sharath, fell to Gulecha, and K Gowtham (5) didn't last long either, but Hoover just carried on, notching up his half-century off just 32 balls with a six off Anil IG in the ninth over.
Manish Pandey, at the other end, scored an adventurous 12-ball 24 before holing out to Anil. Two balls later, Hoover holed out as well, having scored a fine 43-ball 62. At that point, in the 13th over, Belagavi were 111 for 4. With his dismissal, the run-rate slowed down. S Rakshith scored a fighting 13-ball 14, but the rest of the line-up failed to back him up, all falling for single digit scores.
It meant Belagavi were bowled out for 154, with two balls remaining, Prateek Jain running through the tail to return 3 for 29.
Bellary took things slow, knowing the target wasn't too daunting. Unfortunately for them, Belagavi bowlers were spot on with their line and length. Rohan Kadam (8) was run out, Amit Verma (4) mistimed one off the young left-arm spinner, Shubang Hegde, and Kunal Kapoor was stumped after excellent work by Sharath behind the stumps.
All the while, Pawan kept the scoreboard ticking, although not as fast as he would have liked. When CM Gautam (11), their in-form batsman, failed to get going as well, bowled by S Arvind, Belagavi knew it was their day.
Bellary had renewed hopes when the big-hitting Abhinav Manohar hammered a 10-ball 21, but he holed out off Gowtham, who then had Devdutt Padikkal stumped off the very next ball.
It just wasn't Bellary 's day, Pawan's unbeaten 58-ball 64 going in vain.