KPL: Chipli sets up Bulls’ thrilling one-run win

Binny’s unbeaten half-century not enough for Belagavi Panthers

Bijapur Bulls captain Bharat Chipli’s half-century took his side past the 150-run mark.

Stuart Binny’s unbeaten 55 went in vain as Bijapur Bulls secured a thrilling one-run win over Belagavi Panthers in the KPL here on Monday. H.S. Sharath emerged hero in the final over yet again, when his side had 12.

The contest appeared over when Binny sliced a yorker away for six, but Sharath — like he had against Bengaluru Blasters recently — held his nerve, getting rid of D. Avinash and taking his side home.

The result helped Bijapur (6 matches, 8 points), which was in a must-win situation, qualify for the semifinals, while Belagavi (6 matches, 7 points) will hope to make it to the last four as well.

The chasing side began well in its pursuit of 155 before enduring a collapse. Stallin Hoover was run out, and K.N. Bharath and S.K. Jain were removed by left-arm spinner Prithvi Shekhawat, as the team lost three for six in 2.1 overs.

Binny, though, held firm and it was clear much depended on him. The all-rounder was patient, taking his time while putting the bad balls away. He reached his fifty off 38 balls.

Earlier, captain Bharat Chipli scored a well-paced 68 (52b, 8x4, 3x6) to anchor the Bijapur innings. After his side was inserted into bat, the captain began cautiously, taking 28 balls to get to 20, although he had pounced on a couple of loose deliveries in that time. He clobbered a short one from leg-spinner Kishore Kamath deep into the stands, soon after which the rain came down.

On the other side of the interval — a brief one — though, Chipli exploded. Young left-arm spinner Shubhang Hegde, who finished with fine figures of one for 26 from his four overs, was struck over the sight-screen. Stallin Hoover was smashed for three fours in the 16th over as Bijapur made swift progress.

Avinash was next sent sailing over the cover boundary. The medium-pacer had his revenge next ball, though, when Chipli dragged a full toss onto his stumps. Sharath then threw his bat around as Bijapur took 18 runs off S. Arvind’s 20th over. That assault would prove crucial.

Brief scores: Bijapur Bulls 154 for six in 20 overs (Bharat Chipli 68, A.M. Kiran 33, D. Avinash three for 32) bt Belagavi Panthers 153 for eight in 20 overs (Stuart Binny 55 n.o., P. Shekavat two for 12, Ronit More two for 41).

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