Hubballi, Sep 3: Led by an unbeaten 64 from captain R Vinay Kumar and his unfinished 122-run stand for the 3rd wicket with R Jonathan (62 not out), last year's finalists Belagavi Panthers defeated Mangalore United by 8 wickets in the inaugural match of the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) 2015 Twenty20 match here on Thursday.
Chasing Mangalore's 141, Belagavi began on the wrong foot losing both their openers rather cheap both caught at long off playing away from their bodies. From 22/2 in the 4th over, Vinay, who was joined by Jonathan, not only led his team's recovery, but he also ably guided his team to their first win of Season IV.
At no time did the two batsmen look in discomfort, ensuring the run-chase was always on by maintaining a healthy run-rate.
The pair added put on their match winning partnership off just 81 balls with Jonathan hammering the four sixes and three fours while Vinay had six fours in his knock.
Put into bat, Mangalore were struck a double blow when medium pacer Stalin Hoover struck to remove captain and opening batsman Rohit Sabharwal (0) and Sishir Bhavane (3).
Karun Nair (38, 27b, 5x4, 1x6), who opened the innings, took it upon himself to shore his team and along with KC Avinash seemed to be leading the team towards a healthy total when veteran and the oldest player of the tournament, Nitin Mulki struck to have him leg before.
Rohan Kadam was run out a little while later and Mangalore United were clearly strugglinh. However, Avinash farmed the bowling well. Slowly and steadily he inched his way before being influenced by Arsdeep Singh Brar's heaves, two of which ended as boundaries and two went the distance.
The pair managed to take the team to 141 with a 76-run partnership off 48 balls before Arsdeep was out off the last ball of the innings.
Vinay was adjudged the Man-of-the-match for his unbeaten 64.
Rohit Sabharwal C & B Stalin Hoover 0; Karun Nair lbw b Nitin Mulki 38 (27b, 5x4, 1x6); Sishir Bhavane c R Jonathan b S Hoover 3; KC Avinash 50 not out (53b, 5 x 4); Rohan Kadam run out 3; Arsdeep Singh Brar c P Dubey b Vinay 36 (25b, 2x4, 2x6)
Extras: (b-4, w-4, lb-3) 11
Total: 141 for five wickets, 20 overs
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Sabharwal); 2-13 (Bhavane); 3-58 (Nair); 4-65 (Kadam); 5-151 (Brar)
Bowling: Stalin Hoover 4-0-20-2; R Vinay Kumar 4-0-33-1; HS Sharath 4-0-25-0; Praveen Dubey 3-0-25-0; Nitin Mulki 4-0-24-1; Zeeshan Ali 1-0-7-0
Abhishek Reddy c K Nair b Ronit More 4; Mayank Agarwal c K Nair b Mithrakanth Yadav 12 (12b, 2 x 4); R Vinay Kumar 64 not out (50b, 6x4); R. Jonathan 62 not out (43b, 3x4, 4x6)
Extras: (w-2) 2
Total: 144 for two in 18 overs.
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Reddy); 2-22 (Agarwal)
Bowling: Ronit More 3-0-29-1; Abhishek Bhat 4-0-39-0; Mithrakanth Yadav 4-0-22-1; B N Bharath 3-0-22-0; Udit Patel 2-0-19-0; Arsdeep Brar 1-0-5-0; Karun Nair 1-0-8-0
Toss: Belagavi Panthers; opted to field
Result: Belagavi Panthers won by eight wickets