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Maharaja Trophy T20

Mayank Agarwal leads from the front as Bengaluru Blasters defeat Gulbarga Mystics

Mayank Agarwal scored a 25-ball-52 to help his side post 189 in the first innings.

Mayank Agarwal

Mysore, 08 August, 2022: A fine half-century by captain Mayank Agarwal and then a fruitful spell with the ball by Ronit More paved the way for the Bengaluru Blasters to begin their Maharaja Trophy campaign with a resounding win at the Srikantadatta Narasimha Raja Wadiyar Ground in Mysore. The Blasters handed Gulbarga Mystics an 54-run defeat, in what was the opening game for both.

Asked to bat first, the Bengaluru Blasters put on quite the show, with the captain Mayank Agarwal leading from the front. Mayank, who opened with LR Chethan (25) put on a solid 61-run stand before the first wicket fell in the final over the powerplay.

While the Blasters lost Chethan, it did not slow them down as Mayank and Aneesh KV continued to score quite freely, with the captain playing the more aggressive role in the partnership. Mayank went on to score a 25-ball-52, hitting 7 fours and 2 sixes in that time before being runout, a tad bit unluckily at the non-striker’s end.

Aneesh though held on at the other end, shepherding the innings well, even after the dismissal of the skipper. Suraj Ahuja added 17, Shivkumar Rakshith brought in 12 more runs before Jagadeesha Suchith was packed off for 6 runs. Kranthi Kumar added a quickfire 22, while Aneesh, who hit five boundaries, departed for 44 just before the end of the innings. The Blasters’ batters made significant contributions, helping pile on 189/8 in their innings.

Vidhwath Kaverappa and Ritesh Bhatkal bagged a couple of wickets each while Karthik CA and Pranav Bhatia picked one each for the Gulbarga Mystics.

In response, the Mystics had a horror start, losing Codanda Ajit Karthik (0) and then captain Manish Pandey (2) in the first over as Ronit More struck. The stylish Devdutt Paddikal and KL Shrijith had the task of rebuilding from there, and on cue they dropped anchor, hoping to absorb some pressure.

The duo put on a 34-run stand and were starting to pick up the pace when Padikkal had his woodwork disturbed for 18, just before the end of the powerplay. The pressure was well and truly on Gulbarga, and they needed quick runs, but Bangalore Mohith could only add 10 the cause, before he and Shrijith (25) departed within five runs of each other midway through the chase.

Kruthik Krishna (6) became More’s third wicket before Rishi Bopanna sent Ritesh Bhatkal packing for 10. Manoj Bhandage (35) counter punched in the final phases of the chase, finishing as the highest scorer on the chasing side, but the Blasters were too far out ahead. Abhilash Shetty (2) and Pranav Bhatia (10) were the last two wickets to fall as the Blasters won at a canter.

Brief Scores: Bengaluru Blasters – 189/8 in 20 overs (Mayank Agarwal – 52, Aneesh KV – 44, Vidhwath Kaverappa – 2/35, Ritesh Bhatkal – 2/18) won by 54 runs against Gulbarga Mystics 135/10 in 19.1 overs (Manoj Bhandage – 35, KL Shrijith – 25, Ronit More – 4/22, LR Kumar – 2/12).

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