Match 11 of the 2019 Karnataka Premier League (KPL) will take place between Hubli Tigers and Belagavi Panthers at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru on Wednesday. Led by Vinay Kumar, the Tigers have lost both their matches so far and find themselves at the bottom of the table. The Panthers, too, are yet to register a win but have a point on the board after a washout against Mysuru Warriors on Monday.
Both teams will hope that this match does not get washed out as they are desperate for points. They will need to start notching up victories if they are to finish in the top four and make it to the playoffs. This will be Hubli’s final match in the Garden City, while Belagavi will play home team Bengaluru Blasters on Friday after which the action shifts to Mysuru.
In KPL 2019, pacers have been significantly better in terms of picking up wickets compared to spinners. While fast bowlers have a better average and take lesser deliveries to take wickets, spinners are more economical and do not concede boundaries as regularly as the quicks.
Fast bowler Vinay Kumar will once again be key for Hubli. Against Bellary Tuskers, not only did he bowl an economical spell (1 for 23), he nearly won the match with the bat, scoring 37 off 24, but his team fell short by nine runs. In the KPL, he has over 900 runs and is the only player with 50-plus wickets.
Manish Pandey is one of four players to have scored a century in the KPL. He is fresh from his stint with the Indian team in the West Indies. He was in the XI against Mysuru Warriors but did not get a chance to bat as the match was washed out. Overall, he has scored 690 runs in the KPL at a strike-rate of 128.
A middle-order batsman and a handy medium-pace bowler, Dikanshu Negi will be a valuable asset in any team. Coming in at No. 5, he will have to take stock of things immediately and take his team to a good total. He has scored four fifties in KPL and strikes at 117.50.
Ravikumar Samarth scores 53.6% of his runs in boundaries and in the KPL, he averages 42.74 and strikes at 123.6. He also has six fifties to his name. Although he scored just four in his only innings in this edition, there is little doubt that he could be a key figure for his side.
Left-arm orthodox spinner Mithrakanth Yadav has played just seven games in the KPL, but he is a talented bowler who can keep the runs down and choke the opposition. Having played so few matches in the KPL, he is an unknown quantity at this level and could spring a surprise or two.
With 30 wickets at strike-rate of 14.8 and a wicket every 18.2 runs, fast bowler Zahoor Farooqi will be an important member of the Panthers line-up. He has already picked up three wickets in two matches in KPL 2019 and will look to add to his tally here.
Weather and pitch
As far as the weather is concerned, rain could once again play spoilsport. It has already played a huge part in a few matches in the tournament and we can expect some light showers even during this match, which could get heavier as the night progresses. Talking about the pitch, the continuous rains have not let the pitch dry up and as a result, there could be some moisture for the fast bowlers to exploit.
At the Chinnaswamy in KPL, the team chasing has won 38, lost 34, while three matches have ended in no results and one match tied. While the overall record tilts in favour of the chasing side, in this edition however, the chasing side have lost three and won as many. While things look even, teams winning the toss will be inclined to chasing, given that rain could play a huge part in deciding the outcome of the game.