Abhishek Reddy and CA Karthik built on a fine show from Prasiddh Krishna to guide Ballari Tuskers to a seven-wicket win over Bijapur Bulls in the Redmi Karnataka Premier League (KPL) 2019 at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on Tuesday.
The openers stitched together a 100-run alliance for the opening wicket as Tuskers chased down the 163-run target in 18.5 overs. Bulls were the favourites early in the contest as their score burgeoned to 126 with five overs left in their innings, but once Bharath Chipli (50) and Rajoo Bhatkal (62) fell, they shrivelled to 162 for 7 in 20 overs.
One would have expected a similar pattern to unfold when the Tuskers lost Karthik for 57, but the opening pair had done far too much damage for the Bulls to drag it back for what would have been their first win. The opening salvo followed by Abhishek’s continued brilliance en route to an unbeaten 62, guided Tuskers to 163 for 3 overs and the top spot on the points table.
At the start of the day, though, the Bulls entertained lofty hopes after Chipli and Bhatkal lent shine to a sunny evening with an 84-run second-wicket partnership. It was especially crucial for this duo to gel well since Krishna, justifying CM Gautam’s decision to bowl first, had gotten rid of Naveen MG in the first over.
Krishna was particularly fiery on the day, clocking over 140 clicks comfortably, but more importantly, his line and length were spot-on. He finished with two wickets for 17 runs from his quota. K Gowtham benefitted from loose shot-making to bag three for 33. While runs off the bat and the 10 wides they conceded was a concern, the Tuskers pulled it back commendably in the last five overs.
In riposte, Tuskers got off to an absolute flyer with Abhishek and Karthik putting on a fine display of batsmanship. A notable feature in their century-stand - the first in this edition - was that they rarely, if ever, played a shot they weren’t in control of. In a nutshell, the Bulls were outplayed by a side with one of the strongest batting compositions this KPL.
(With inputs from agencies)