Another game that went all the way down to the wire. However, it was the Bijapur Bulls who managed to hold their nerve, as a last ball boundary from captain J Suchith was not enough to take the Warriors home, even though they fought valiantly towards the end.
The Warriors won the toss and decided to bowl first, and NP Bhareth removed opener Shishir Bhavane in the very first over. Naveen MG also departed early, being picked up by Prateek Jain in the 4th over. Following his wicket, skipper Bharat Chipli and Kaunain Abbas put on a resilient partnership, putting on 88 runs together. Abbas was out for 42, 8 runs short of what would have been an excellent half century.
Bharath Chipli, topscored for the Bulls with 63 off 53 deliveries and would have been upset on being dismissed in the 15th over by Prateek Jain who finished with 2 wickets to his name.
Suneel Raju and wicketkeeper KL Shrijith came together to finish things off for the Bulls. Both played handy knocks, taking the Bijapur Bulls to a total of 167-6 in their 20 overs.
The Warriors got off to a flying start, with openers Arjun Hoysala and Raajoo Bhatkal getting the team to 35-0 after just 3 overs. 15 and 14 runs came in the First and Second overs. Hoysala was dismissed in the 5th over, and Amit Verma followed in the 7th. Raajoo Bhatkal tried getting a move on, but he too perished in the 10th over, falling to Suneel MG.
Shoaib Manager and KV Siddarth got together to do some damage control, but their partnership lasted only 21 runs. Manager fell to Ronit More, after looking to hit a slower one straight down the ground. He was caught at long on, and the required run rate was starting to build up gradually.
After KV Siddarth’s wicket in the 16th over, captain J Suchith and NP Bhareth got together and brought the Warriors very close to what would have been a stunning comeback victory. Suchith scored 34 off just 20 balls with 3 fours and 1 six. Bhareth gave him good company with his quick 17, making sure that runs did not dry up at the other end.
When the last over started, the Warriors needed 14 runs. Bhareth managed one boundary, before Suchith got on strike. There was a single, a double and then a dotball, leaving the Warriors needing ahit for six off the last ball to win the game. Suchith swung hard at a low full toss and manged to get it for four, but it was just not enough to get them past the Bulls. They will be looking for a strong performance in their next game.
Captain Suchith felt that some plans were not working right, and there are some niggles to be fixed. He said “That’s what happens in a pressure game, you win or lose by two runs. That drop catch off Chipli did not help. The bowling has been our weak point throughout the tournament. We had a plan to take it till the end, but we couldn’t.”