Gulbarga Mystics’ captain Manish Pandey looked a cut above the rest as his half-century before a long rain delay helped pave the way for a win against the Mysuru Warriors on Sunday.
And even though Shreyas Gopal fought hard with 32 off 16 balls, the Warriors fell short by 7 runs after the target had been revised to 110 in 11 overs.
Batting first, the Gulbarga Mystics had a slow start as the stylish openers Devdutt Padikkal (14) and Rohan Patil (6) found it tough to get the Mysore Warriors bowlers away. While Patil was the first wicket to fall, Padikkal depart just after the powerplay, neither able to make significant contributions during the early phase.
Jeswath Acharya and Krishnan Shrijith however dug in after that and rebuilt. While Acharya looked more comfortable taking the aerial route, Shrijith was more than happy to keep the scoreboard moving from his end as well. Acharya smashed four sixes and hit a boundary in his 34-run knock while Shrijith got 30.
Shrijith though played a solid hand in the partnership with Manish Pandey, who was going great guns, and really adding momentum to the Mystics’ innings. Manish clobbered four sixes and three boundaries, making batting look ridiculously easy as he scored 57 not out from 27 balls, before rain brought the innings to a close with the Mystics’ score at 148/4 in 17.3 overs.
Once rain stopped, the umpires decided that the Warriors would get 11 overs to chase down 110, by the VJD method. With their backs to the wall due the playing conditions, the Warriors had to begin in fifth gear, which resulted in an early collapse.
Karun Nair (3), Nihal Ullal (6) and Shivraj S (8) were the first three wickets to fall in the space of 19 deliveries leaving the Mystics in the box seat. And while Pavan Deshpande was looking to fight, Naga Bharath departed for 2 before the end of the 5th over. In the last 6 overs, Warriors needed 73 to win.
Deshpande could not stick on for too long and was packed off for 25 after which Shreyas Gopal tonked 3 sixes in the 8th over, bringing the equation down to 32 runs needed in the final 3 overs. Shubhang Hegde’s (6) dismissal in the next over slowed down the Warriors a bit and Shreyas’ wicket in the 11th over was the final nail in the coffin.