Hubbali, Sep 18: Defending champions Bijapur Bulls suffered a shocking set back in their very first outing in the fifth edition of the Karbonn KPL powered by Cycle Agarbathies when a Mayank Agarwal-inspired innings helped Belagavi Panthers to script a five-wicket win with three balls to spare in an exciting T20 clash at the KSCA Stadium in Rajnagar on Saturday (Sep 17) night. [KPL opening ceremony]
The Bulls struggled with a wet ball as neither their bowlers nor their fielders were able to circumvent the difficulties imposed by it.
Some catches went abegging while the bowlers failed to put the ball in the desired spot while defending a rather handy target.
Earlier, the Panthers put Bijapur Bulls in to bat in the hope of grabbing early wickets, but that was not to be, as Bijapur opener, Samarth, exhibited an excellent repertoire of strokes, en route to a well-crafted 64 off 47 balls.
However, frequent rain interruptions stalled their momentum, resulting in losing wickets at crucial junctures in the innings. Left-arm spinner, Sakuja picked up 2 for 29 from his four overs, as the Bijapur Bulls were restricted to a modest 137 for 7.
The Panthers openers, Mayank Agrawal and K Abbas, got the chase off to a solid start. Both put on 45 in 7.5 overs, before Abbas (17) fell to leg spinner Sinan, attempting a wild slog over mid-wicket.
Shoaib Manager (2) and Vinay Kumar (6) fell in quick succession, but Mayank Agrawal and SK Jain tried to steady the ship before Jain became Sinan's second wicket for the night. Sinan returned figures of 3 for 16.
However, an unfazed Mayank slammed 74 off 57 balls, and aided by a late attacking sprint from Pravin Dubey, sealed the game for his side in style.
Belagavi Panthers: 141/5 (M Agrawal- 74, SK Jain-24, Sharath- 2/15, Sakuja-2/29) beat Bijapur Bulls: 137/7 (Samarth-64, KC Avinash-24, Sinan-3/18, P Shekawat- 2/30) by five wickets.