Bellary Tuskers won the match against Bengaluru Blasters recently however, they continue to be at the 6th position with just 5 points; they will take on Hubli Tigers, who are at No. 3 with 6 points, in the last league game of the season at Hubli on 19th September. The hosts lost the last two games played against Mysuru Warriors and Bijapur Bulls, and they will have to win this one to safeguard their place in the semi-finals. Bellary Tuskers are one step out of the tournament and will be eager to register a face-saving win here; it needs to be seen which team can dominate the other on Tuesday.
Mayank Agarwal posted a superb 68 off 46 batting first against Mysuru Warriors but others down the line failed to impress and they could muster only 154 runs. Captain Vinay Kumar tried to revive the innings with a well-made 21 while Rohith Gowda played a useful knock; however, despite a disciplined show by the bowlers, they lost the match by 3 wickets. Spinner Ritesh Bhatkal and medium pacer Kranthi Kumar took 2 wickets apiece while Vinay Kumar and Harish dismissed one opponent each.
Against Bijapur Bulls too they batted first but could post only 159 runs, which was mainly due to contributions from Mayank Agarwal, Krishnamurthy Siddharth, Swapnil and Kranthi Kumar down the line. Top-order batsmen like Abhishek Reddy and Anurag Bajpai failed to impress while the bowlers once again couldn’t stop the opposition from hitting the winning runs despite a splendid 4-21 by spinner Abhishek Sakuja.
They did well in the beginning of the series but seem to have lost the magic in recent outings; they do have good resources with bat and ball to make a comeback and make it to the semi-finals.
The bowlers put up a tremendous display of determination and talent as they restricted Bengaluru Blasters to 123 runs in the last match; fast-bowler Bhavesh Gulecha and medium-pacer Prateek Jain took 3 wickets each to stifle the opponents. The opening batsmen then smashed sixes and fours to chase down the 124-run target easily with more than 2 overs to spare. Devdutt Padikkal posted a brilliant 72 off 53 while Kunal Kapoor partnered well to score 40 runs.
Previously against Belagavi Panthers, however, they failed to chase down 155 runs after the top-order batsmen fell quickly. Opener KB Pawan posted a well-made 64, remaining unbeaten but with hardly any support from others down the line, they fell short of the target by 25 runs. Abhinav Manohar contributed well with a quickfire 21 off 10 while Prateek Jain showcased his all-rounder skills, scoring 13 off 6 but it wasn’t enough to win the contest. Earlier, Jain has taken 3 wickets while Amit Verma, Bhavesh Gulecha, and Anil IG took 2 wickets each to contain Panthers to 154.
The Tuskers will be playing the last match of the league as they are at the bottom of the table; however, they won’t give up without a fight and could well put up some fireworks on Tuesday.
It is a crucial match for Hubli Tigers to reserve their semi-final berth and could come out all guns blazing here. While Bellary Tuskers have performed well recently with the ball, we feel that Hubli Tigers with the home advantage are clear favorites to win the match.