KPL: Belagavi Panthers beats Bijapur Bulls, moves into playoffs

Bijapur is now virtually out of the competition, after a seven-wicket loss.

R. Samarth scored a 45-ball 50. File Photo: Sudhakara Jain

Belagavi Panthers booked its spot in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) playoffs with a seven-wicket victory over Bijapur Bulls at the SDNR Wadiyar Stadium here on Monday. This was Belagavi’s third win on the trot and was achieved without Manish Pandey, who will now go away on India-A duty.

After restricting Bijapur to a modest 136 for eight with a fine bowling effort, Belagavi won with 2.2 overs to spare. With three points from five matches, Bijapur is virtually out of the competition.

The chasing side wobbled initially, losing both openers inside the third over. R. Samarth, though, dropped anchor, scoring an unbeaten 45-ball-50 to see his side home. Samarth and Dikshanshu Negi added 40 runs for the third wicket, a stand that was broken when the latter was run out. Abhinav Manohar then struck a 30-ball-42 as Belagavi crossed the line without further damage.

Little momentum

Earlier, Bijapur struggled for momentum after being put in to bat. Left-arm spinner Shubhang Hegde, who shared the new ball, kept things tight. Bharath Chipli made a watchful 29-ball-33 before he was dismissed by M. B. Darshan. Bijapur kept losing wickets at regular intervals and at 94 for six in the 16th over, the side seemed set for a poor total. It was only due to N. P. Bhareth's lusty hitting (35 n.o., 18b, 1x4, 2x6) late on that Bijapur scrambled to 136. It would not be enough.

The scores
  • Bijapur Bulls 136 for eight in 20 overs (Bharath Chipli 33, N. P. Bhareth 35 n.o., Shubhang Hegde two for 17, D. Avinash two for 25, M. B. Darshan two for 19) lost to Belagavi Panthers 137 for three in 17.4 overs (R. Samarth 50 n.o., Dikshanshu Negi 32, Abhinav Manohar 42 n.o., M. G. Naveen two for 28).