Half-centuries from Mohammed Taha (72, 40b, 7x4, 4x6) and skipper Manish Pandey (50 n.o., 23b, 3x4, 4x6), and a fine bowling effort from Manvanth Kumar (3/32) powered Hubli Tigers to the Maharaja Trophy KSCA T20 title. The trio helped secure a an eight-run victory in the final at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday.
Asked to bat first, the Tigers lost Luvnith Sisodia off the second ball, but were propped by a manic 90-run second wicket stand from 59 balls between Taha and K.L. Shrijith (38, 31b, 5x4). Manish provided the death-overs flourish, helping his side amass 42 runs from the last three overs.
The Warriors’ chase was off to a fine start as openers S.U. Karthik (28, 18b, 3x4, 2x6) and R. Samarth (63, 35, 4x4, 4x6) put on 57 runs from just 32 balls. Captain and one-drop Karun Nair (37, 20b, 6x4) aided in keeping up the scoring rate as Tigers reached 134 for two, with a little over seven overs left and 70 runs to get.
But the dismissal of Karun and the struggles of middle-order batters Lankesh (13, 15b) and C.A. Karthik (18, 12b), and all-rounder Manoj Bhandage (0,1b) slammed the brakes.
Manvanth Kumar, who dismissed Bhandage first ball and also sent back the seasoned J. Suchith (13, 10b) defended 12 runs off the final over, conceding just three. Manish saving a potential sixer at long-off in the last over was crucial. For that and his earlier contribution with the bat, he was adjudged the player of the final.
Brief scores: Hubli Tigers 203/8 in 20 overs (Mohammed Taha 72, K.L. Shrijith 38, Manish Pandey 50 n.o.) bt Mysore Warriors 195/8 in 20 overs (S.U. Karthik 28, R. Samarth 63, Karun Nair 37, Manvanth Kumar 3/32); PoM: Manish; PoS: Taha.
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