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Provident gets past Malnad Gladiators

Sports Reporter

— Photo: G.P. Sampath Kumar

Nicked:N.C. Aiyappa (left) started the Gladiators' batting collapse with the dismissal of captain Ganesh Sathish.

Bangalore: Bangalore Provident (Rural) notched up its second win in five matches in the Mantri-Karnataka Premier League, with a six-wicket defeat of Malnad Gladiators, at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Friday.

Needing a victory to stay alive in the competition, Provident made quick work of the 102-run target, chasing it down in 16.3 overs. Gladiators, on the other hand, would have assured itself of a berth in the semifinals with a win, but fell woefully short on the occasion.

Provident did not exactly begin the chase in blazing fashion. Rocked by the early dismissals of Thilak Naidu and Kaunain Abbas — the former falling leg-before to K.P. Rohan and the latter hitting off-spinner K. Gowtham straight to point — it required some patient batting by Amit Verma and M.K. Manjunath to steady the ship.

Verma played some assured shots during his 22, cutting seamer Sanjay Kumar to the point boundary and driving Rohan to the fence at long-off. Following Verma's dismissal, Manjunath (22) continued the good work alongside Aniruddha Joshi before the latter cut loose.

Man-of-the-match Joshi finished unbeaten on 34, clouting left-arm spinner S.K. Moinuddin into the top tier over long off before sealing the victory with another six off Gowtham.

Disastrous start

Earlier, Gladiators made a calamitous start to its innings, in the face of some disciplined bowling, with both openers departing in the second over. Captain Ganesh Satish edged N.C. Aiyappa to keeper Thilak Naidu — a mode of dismissal a couple more batsmen appeared to favour — while Kunal Kapoor lobbed one in the air two balls later, to be held at mid on.

Wickets continued to tumble, leaving Gladiators tottering at 34 for five at the end of the Powerplay overs. Sanjay Kumar set about undoing some of the damage, dumping Rahul Bhatkal over midwicket off only his second ball on his way to a run-a-ball 36.

Kumar's run-out in the fifteenth over triggered another collapse but K. Gowtham chipped in with a hasty 27 (16b, 2x4, 2x6) to take his side past the 100 mark.

Match abandoned

The day's second match, between Bangalore Brigadiers (Urban) and Shamanur Davangere Diamonds, was abandoned after heavy rain halted play.

Diamonds, which had opted to bat, was 45 for three in nine overs when the deluge began. The match was officially called off at 8:15 p.m. after on-field umpires M. Srinivas Murthy and B. Jaipal decided that no further play was possible.

The teams were awarded a point each, giving Brigadiers its first of the campaign.

The scores: Malnad Gladiators 102 in 17.1 overs (Sanjay Kumar 36, K. Gowtham 27, N.C. Aiyappa two for 12, Abhishek Jagan two for 13, Rahul Bhatkal two for 23) lost to Bangalore Provident (Rural) 103 for four in 16.3 overs (Aniruddha Joshi 34, K. Gowtham three for 19).

Shamanur Davangere Diamonds 45 for three in nine overs.

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