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Aravind Harish

The KSCA Rajnagar Stadium at Hubli played host to the Mysuru Warriors' first game of the new KPL season. The Warriors triumphed over the Ballari Tuskers by 7 wickets, thanks to a good all round showing from the team.

Jagadeesha Suchith, who became the youngest captain to register a victory in the Karbonn Karnataka Premier League won the toss and put the tuskers into bat first. 19-year old Devdutt Padikkal and Rohan Kadam were the stars of the Tuskers' innings and were the only ones who managed big totals. The 2 of them put on a 92-run partnership and looked to be taking the Tuskers to a very strong total, before the Warriors came back with some superb bowling.

The partnership was broken by some excellent bowling from J Suchith, who also showed a cool head to make sure that the Warriors at no stage found the game slipping away from their hands.

The captain's masterclass was his decision to retain 2 overs by pacer Vyshak Vijaykumar, who came roaring back into the attack. He came back, took 4 wickets and barely gave anything away, while making sure that the Tuskers' lower order was completely derailed. In the 18th over of the innings, he took 3 wickets giving away only 5 runs. He now has the most number of 4 wicket hauls in KPL cricket.

Following some great bowling from Vyshak Vijayumar and some sharp fielding from Captain Suchith, the Warriors restricted the Tuskers to a total of 145-8 in their 20 overs, which was nowhere near what they would have had in mind after their strong start.

The Warriors came out needing 146 runs to win, and although opener Arjun Hoysala was dismissed early by a superb diving catch from CM Gautham, Amit Verma played an absolute gem of a knock, scoring 59 off just 46 balls, which included 7 hits to the fence and 2 big ones that sailed over it. The dashing batsman is now only 17 runs away from completing 1000 KPL runs. He was given perfect company by Raajoo Bhatkal who scored freely for his 48 but was unlucky to miss out on what would have been a very well made half century.

Abrar Kazi came into the attack and made two crucial break throughs to take the 2 set batsmen's wickets, but by then the damage had already been done. Shoaib Manager and KV Siddarth came in to guide the team home with 9 balls and 7 wickets to spare.

"We started very well by getting an early wicket, but the game turned after the rain break. We also had a very good powerplay while batting - that set the tone.The tournament is all about momentum and we have started with a win, we will look forward to carry that." Said captain Suchith.

All in all, it was a great start to the tournament for Namma Warriors, and the top order batting and death bowling performances from the team were top notch, bringing them back into the game repeatedly. The Warriors will be looking to carry this momentum and good form into the rest of the tournament, and can hopefully go all the way this time.

The next game will be against the Bijapur Bulls on the 24th August, at the same venue

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