Mysuru, August 25, 2018: The target was just 147 but for the Bengaluru Blasters it almost turned out to too much of a chase. Fortunately for them two events went their way at a critical juncture in a Karbonn Smartphones Karnataka Premium League Powered by Lakshmi Vilas Bank tie at the SDNR Wadiyar Stadium here tonight. First the Shivammogga Lions skipper Anirudha Joshi dropped a sitter offered by Bharath Devraj when he was on 17 in a team score of 70 for 5. Then Joshi decided to bowl the 16th over of the innings, with 49 needed off the last five overs and four wickets standing. Unfortunately for him that’s when Abhishek Bhat, who came in at number 8, decided to explode. Two towering sixes in the over by the right-handed batsman shifted the momentum back to the Blasters and despite the loss of Devraj (38, 41b, 3×4) to Aditya Somanna in the 18th over, they managed to cross the line with five balls and two wickets to spare.
It is an innings Man of the Match Bhat (40 not out, 19b, 3×4, 3×6) is unlikely to forget in a hurry but spare a thought for the Shivamogga bowlers who till the sixth wicket partnership of 38 (25 balls) were very much on top. A charged up Somanna had even gobbled up Robin Uthappa for a first ball duck, but in the end his 3-34 wasn’t enough, not on the night.
Earlier, the Shivamogga total was built on two good partnerships, 69 (52b) for the second wicket between opener Nihal Ullal (34, 330b, 3×4, 1×6) and number three Rohit K (36, 29b, 3×4, 1×6), and then 54 (43b) for the fifth wicket between R Jonathan and skipper Anirudha Joshi. If the first provided the foundation after the second over loss of Liyan Khan, lbw to medium pacer Bhat, the second gave the innings the thrust, albeit it wasn’t enough on the night, not when Bhat the batsman was still around.
Of course the stand between Jonathan (37, 26b, 2×4, 3×6) and Joshi (28 (23b, 2×6) was all but over even before it had really started. Jonathan had pulled a rank short ball from offie Arshdeep Singh Brar, who had just trapped Ullal leg before, when he hit the next ball straight down KB Pawan’s throat at deep midwicket, only for the veteran to drop the easy chance.
Jonathan made the Blasters pay for that, slamming some huge sixes as is his wont, before Manoj Bhadage, in the midst of a tight 19th over, got him plumb in front.
In the end though it was all about Bhat.
Brief scores: Shivamogga Lions: 146/6 in 20 overs (Nihal Ullal 34, Rohit K 36; Anirudha Joshi 28, R Jonathan 37; Arshdeep Singh Brar 2-7) lost to Bengaluru Blasters: 147/8 in 19.1 overs (Pawan Deshpande 34, Bharath Devraj 38, Abhishek Bhat 40 not out; Aditya Somanna 3-34, Prithviraj Shekawat 2-26) by 2 wkts.