Mysuru, Sep 19: A fine 50 by Robin Uthappa and his 73-run partnership for the second wicket helped Bijapur Bulls storm into the final of the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) 2015 here on Friday (September 18).
Taking on last year's finalists Belagavi Panthers in the first qualifier, the Bulls depicted good all-round work in the contest to romp home a comfortable 6-wicket winners and take their spot in the title tilt.
Chasing the Panthers' meagre 118, the Bulls lost opener Samarth (0) off the second ball of the innings. But Robin and Rajoo Bhatkal (23), dropped when yet to open his account, stayed calm and went about their job of stabilising the innings.
Once set, Uthappa began freeing his shoulders and hammered 5 fours and 3 sixes in the 41 balls he faced putting his team on the road to victory.
Bhatkal fell soon after but Suneel Raju (19 not out) showed the right approach and along with Nidesh M (11 not out) guided the team past the winning post.
Earlier, some disciplined bowling by the Bulls saw the Panthers struggling. Runs were not easy to come on a wicket that was slow and the Panthers batsmen went for their shots and paid the price.
Left-arm spinner KP Appanna and young leggie KC Cariappa bowled intelligently to claim 3 wickets apiece even as 4 opposition batsmen got into double figures but failed to capitalise on the starts.
Panthers will face Hubli Tigers in Qualifier 2 on Saturday (September 19) with the winner earning the right to take on Bijapur in the final on Sunday (September 20).
Stallin Hoover c Suneel Raju b Vyshak V 1; R Vinay Kumar c Rajoo b B Akhil 8; Abhishek Reddy c Akhil b KP Appanna 27 (27b, 4x4); Jonathan lbw Appanna 15; Zeeshan Ali Sayyed c Samarth b KC Cariappa 4; GS Chiranjeevi st R Uthappa b Appanna 2; KN Bharath c Appanna b Cariappa 14; Praveen Dubey c Deepak Chougule b Cariappa 15
Extras: (b2, Ib 5, w1) 8
Total: (For 8 wickets, 20 overs) 118
Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Stallin); 2-31 (Vinay); 3-52 (Abhishek); 4-52 (Jonathan); 5-62 (Zeeshan); 6-66 (Chiranjeevi); 7-88 (Bharath); 8-102 (Praveen)
Bowling: Abhimanyu Mithun 4-0-23-0; Vyshak V 3-0-17-1; Rajoo Bhatkal 2-0-16-0; B Akhil 1-0-4-1; Suneel Raju 2-0-9-0; KP Appanna KP 4-0-18-3; KC Cariappa 4-0-24-3
R Samarth lbw Vinay Kumar 0; Robin Uthappa c Praveen b Stallin Hoover 50 (41b, 5x4, 3x6); Rajoo Bhatkal c Vinay Kumar b Stallin 23 (23b, 3x4); Akhil c KN Bharath b HS Sharath 13; Suneel Raju 19 (not out); Nidesh M 11 (not out)
Extras: (b1, Ib 2, w3) 6
Total: (For 4 wickets, 16.4 overs) 122
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Samarth); 2-73 (Robin); 3-81 (Rajoo); 4-100 (Akhil)
Bowling: R Vinay Kumar 3-0-13-1; HS Sharath 3-0-20-1; Praveen Dubey 4-0-27-0; Stallin Hoover 3-0-20-2; Vinu Prasad 2-0-20-0; Bharath KN 1-0-11-0; Zeeshan Ali Sayyed 0.4-0-8-0
Toss: Won by Bijapur Bulls; opted to field
Result: Bijapur Bullls won by 6 wickets