A fine all-round performance by a non-all-rounder, Devdutt Padikkal, helped Gulbarga Mystics score a convincing six-wicket victory over table toppers Bengaluru Blasters on Thursday in the Maharaja Trophy T20 Tournament at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
With this victory, their fourth from seven matches, the Mystics moved to eight points and a share of the second place with Mysore Warriors and Mangalore United while the Blasters stayed at the top on 10 points but with an extra match played.
It was the day of the Mystics as Padikkal shone both with the ball and the bat in a man-of-the-match performance. The left-handed opener first starred in the field taking five catches to underline his athleticism as the Blasters were brought down to earth with a thud after their thundering 25-run victory over Shivomagga Blasters on Wednesday.
Blasters were hardly recognisable as their batsmen, who had blasted their way to 191/6 less than 24 hours earlier, struggled to put bat to ball and were restricted to 144 for nine by a disciplined band of young bowlers.
Overnight heroes L.R. Chethan, who hit a scintillating 55-ball 105*, and Aniruddha Joshi, who made a dashing 55 against the Strikers, both fell cheaply for six and four respectively inside the first 10 overs.
Captain Mayank Agarwal top scored with a 28 while only three other batsmen could reach double figures against some fine spin-pace combination.
Debutant leg-spinner Kushaal Wadhwani was the most impressive claiming two key wickets of captain Agarwal and overnight hero Joshi for just 17 runs while Vidhwath Kaverappa and Manoj Bhandage bagged three wickets each.
The Mystics batsmen made a simple task of chasing the easy target of 145 and reached it with much to spare, losing just four wickets and with 15 balls to spare.
Padikkal, who earlier this year amassed 376 runs for Rajasthan Royals, helping them to the final where they lost to Gujarat Titans, in the Indian Premier League, continued his impressive form leading his team to a deserving victory with an unbeaten knock.
The tall opener held the Mystics' innings together (78*, 61-balls, 7 fours, 4 sixes) with some clean hitting all around the ground, with a particular liking to the area square of the wicket.
Bengaluru Blasters 144-9 (Mayank Agarwal 28, Aneesh K.V 20, Shivkumar Rakshith 16, Kranthi Kumar 17, J Suchith 17; Vidhwath Kaverappa 3-31, Manoj Bhandage 3-23, Kushaal Wadhwani 2017) lost to Gulbarga Mystics 150-4 in 17.3 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 78, Jeswath Acharya 18; Ronit More 1-18) by six wickets.
( 435 Words)