KPL 2019: Devdutt Padikkal helps Ballari Tuskers trump Hubli Tigers

The batsman scores an elegant half-century — his second in a row — as the Tuskers waltz to a nine-wicket victory.

Devdutt Padikkal en route to his match-winning 70.   -  Sudhakara Jain

An elegant half-century by Devdutt Padikkal helped Ballari Tuskers march to a nine-run victory over Hubli Tigers in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) here on Monday.

Padikkal’s 70 (56b, 4x4, 3x6), featuring some delightfully languid stroke-play, led Ballari to 163 for eight in 20 overs. In reply, Hubli was restricted to 154, with Abrar Kazi taking two important wickets for 17 runs. The win was Ballari’s second of the tournament while Hubli has now lost both its games.

Strokeful knock

Padikkal came into this fixture fresh off a fifty against Belagavi Panthers, and he picked up from where he had left off. The 19-year-old, who last season made his Ranji Trophy debut for Karnataka, again demonstrated why he is so highly thought of by the State’s selectors. Early in his innings, he flicked Vidyadhar Patil off his pads for six with the minimum of effort; it was a remarkably handsome shot. The fifty arrived with another six over long-on, although this one was swatted over the ropes with a little less finesse.

Padikkal and Abhishek Reddy added 59 runs for the second wicket, a partnership during the course of which Ballari seemed set for a big total. But wickets fell at regular intervals thereafter, with Abrar Kazi and the big-hitting K. Gowtham dismissed off successive deliveries. Padikkal fell in the final over of the innings, bowled as he paddled the ball onto the stumps.

Shaky start

Hubli needed to begin well to be able to chase down 163, but Md. Taha was knocked over second ball by Prasidh Krishna. M. Vishwanathan made 30 before Kazi removed him and K. B. Pawan in the space of three balls, both caught at long-off. In the following over, K. L. Shrijith was bowled by K. P. Appanna, and at 83 for five in the 13th over, the run chase had truly been derailed.

Praveen Dubey and Vinay Kumar made a late effort but the required rate was always spiralling out of reach.

The scores
  • Ballari Tuskers 163 for eight in 20 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 70, Zeeshan Ali Sayyed 25, Mitrakanth Yadav two for six, Aditya Somanna two for 28, David Mathias two for 35) bt Hubli Tigers 154 for nine in 20 overs (M. Vishwanathan 30, Vinay Kumar 37, Praveen Dubey 28, Abrar Kazi two for 17, C.A. Karthik three for 19) by nine runs.