Mysuru, Sep 20: Bijapur Bulls won their maiden Karnataka Premier League (KPL) title when they defeated Hubli Tigers by 7 wickets here in the final of the 4th edition of the Twenty20 tournament on Sunday night.
At the Srikantadatta Narasimha Raja Wadiyar ground, chasing 115, Bijapur were made to work hard before the calm and composed Robin Uthappa and skipper B Akhil won them the trophy with 17 balls to spare. Robin also won the Man-of-the-series award.
Despite the home team Mysuru Warriors not playing in the big game, it was a full house at the stadium.
After a sedate start from openers R Samarth (27) and Rajoo Bhatkal (6), Bijapur were dealt a double blow by the medium pace of Kranthi Kumar. He dismissed both batsmen in successive overs.
Bijapur were 42/2 in 8.1 overs and further slumped to 60/3 in 11.2 overs. However, Uthappa (38 not out) and Akhil (36 not out) ensured there was no further damage.
They had an unbroken partnership of 55 runs in 5.5 overs for the 4th wicket. This was the best partnership of the match and turned out to be a title-winning one.
Akhil was aggressive while Uthappa played cautiously. The right-handed Akhil decisively swung the contest when he smashed Kumar for 2 successive sixes and a 4 in the 16th over.
In the final 5 overs, Bijapur needed 36 off 30 but the belligerence of Akhil brought the equation down to 16 off 24. From there, they cruised home as Akhil triggered wild celebrations in the team's dug-out with a boundary off Shivil Kaushik in the 18th over. Bijapur received the winner's cheque of Rs 10 lakhs while Hubli got Rs 5 lakhs.
Earlier, Bijapur bowlers, led by paceman Vyshak Vijay Kumar (3/16) and leg-spinner KC Cariappa (3/20), restricted Hubli to a below-par 114/9 in 20 overs. Vyshak won the Man-of-the-match award.
Hubli were dealt a major blow in the 2nd over of the innings when one of their top run-getters Mohammed Taha was bowled by Vyshak Vijay Kumar for just 1 run.
Skipper Kunal Kapoor (5) too followed Taha to the pavilion as Hubli were 15/2 in 3.4 overs. From these early blows, they never recovered against a disciplined bowling effort by Bijapur.
Open KB Pawan top-scored with 32 while the next best was 21 apiece from Dikshanshu Negi and Kranthi Kumar.
Right-arm paceman Vyshak was excellent with the ball. One of his 4 overs was a wicket-maiden. Cariappa too was as impressive as his team-mate.
Mohammed Taha b Vyshak V 1; Pawan KB c & b KC Cariappa 32 (33b, 2x4, 1x6); Kunal Kapoor b Vyshak 5; Dikshanshu Negi st Robin Uthappa b Appanna KP 21; Nitin Bhille run out (Robin Uthappa) 10; Chethan Williams b Cariappa 8; Kranthi Kumar run out (KP Appanna KP) 20; SL Akshay c Abhimanyu Mithun b Vyshak 5; Kishore Kamath (not out) 5; Prateek Jain st Robin Uthappa b KC Cariappa 0
Extras: (lb-5, w-1) 6
Total (For 9 wickets, 20 overs) 114
Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Taha); 2-15 (Kunal); 3-58 (Dikshanshu); 4-72 (Nitin); 5-75 (Pawan); 6-84 (Chethan); 7-92 (Akshay); 8-114 (Kranthi Kumar); 9-114 (Prateek)
Bowing: Abhimanyu Mithun 3-0-12-0; Vyshak V 4-1-16-3; Rajoo Bhatkal 2-0-16-0; B Akhil 2-0-13-0; KP Appanna 4-0-25-1; Suneel Raju 1-0-7-0; KC Cariappa 4-0-20-3
R Samarth c Prateek Jain b Kranthi Kumar 27 (34b, 3x4); Rajoo Bhatkal c Nitin Bhille b Kranthi Kumar 6; Robin Uthappa 38 not out (34b, 3x4); Suneel Raju c Taha b Kishore Kamath 4; B Akhil not out 36 (19b, 1x4, 4x6)
Extras: (b-2, w-2) 4
Total: (For 3 wickets in 17.1 overs) 115
Fall of wickets: 1-35 (Rajoo); 2-42 (Samarth); 3-60 (Suneel)
Bowling: Prateek Jain 4-0-22-0; SL Akshay 2-0-12-0; Kishore Kamath 4-0-15-1; Kranthi Kumar 4-0-39-2; Shivil Kaushik 3.1-0-25-0
Toss: Won by Bijapur Bulls; opted to field first
Result: Bijapur Bulls won by 7 wickets
2009 - Bangalore Provident (Rural)
2010 - Mangalore United
2011 to 2013 - Tournament not played
2014 - Mysuru Warriors