Mysuru: After the high of the afternoon game when both Mysuru Warriors and Belagavi Panthers reached 200, the evening game, hit by heavy showers just after the toss was completed, turned  out to be a very low-scoring affair, one which Bengaluru Blasters finally won with just two balls to spare.

Having put Hubli Tigers in to bat in the Karnataka Premium League (KPL) 2018 tie at the SDNR Wadiyar Stadium here Friday (August 31), the Bengaluru found a real bowling hero in medium pacer V Koushik who struck twice in his opening over, the second of the innings.

Also read: KPL 2018 Schedule

Hubli, despite a hard-working 62-run (55 balls) stand for the fifth wicket between skipper Vinay Kumar (20, 22b, 1x4) and Praveen Dubey (48, 46b, 5x4), never really recovered from.

Set a modest 118 to get in the match reduced to 18 overs-a-side, the Bengaluru made it tough for themselves but the fact that they always had wickets in hand helped them sneak through despite needing 19 from the final two overs. Left-hander Pavan Deshpande (28, 19b, 1x4, 1x6) with a huge six in the final over sealed the game.

Earlier, after the start to the game was delayed by exactly an hour, Hubli suffered a setback in the opening over itself when left-arm spinner Mitrakant Yadav had batting mainstay Mohammed Taha caught behind off a failed sweep. 

Next over, Koushik first had the other Shivraj S leg before for a duck and then followed it up having next man in Sujith N Gowda out first ball, caught by Shreyas Gopal at slip. Three down for six runs soon became 19 for 4 when Abhishek Bhat castled Abhishek Reddy.

It could well have been 24 for 4 in the sixth over had Gopal, back after completing his India ‘B’ stint, not put down Vinay, then on 4, at slip off Manoj Bhandage’s second delivery. The fifth wicket duo then put their heads down and gave their side something to fight with.

Koushik, who came back to bowl the 18th and final over after his first two had gone for just two runs, gave away only four more to finish with 3-0-6-2. It was a fine display of swing bowling in slightly helpful conditions, thanks to the change in weather.

Once he was done, the Blasters batsmen took their time with the chase. Openers Vishwanathan M and KB Pawan (29, 27b, 3x4) staved off the early threat posed by Vinay (4-0-16-0) and set the base for the chase with a watchful 34-run stand off 35 balls.

Skipper Robin Uthappa, who was on hand to play Vinay’s testing final over, contributed a 26-ball 31 (3x4, 1x6) in what became Bengaluru’s fourth win from five games after one match was washed out in Hubbali.

For Hubli, who had won three from four with one no-result, it was their first loss.

Brief scores: Hubli Tigers: 117/9 in 18 overs (Praveen Dubey48, R Vinay Kumar 20; Koushik V 2-6) lost to Bengaluru Blasters: 119/4 in 17.4 overs (KB Pawan 29, Robin Uthappa 31, Pavan Deshpande 28 not out; Mahesh Patel 3-20) by six wickets.  

Saturday’s matches (September 1) - Mysuru

Mysuru Warriors vs Bijapur Bulls - 2.10 pm

Hubli Tigers vs Belagavi Panthers - 6.40 pm

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