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Singer - Raghu Dixith

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Aravind Harish

Due to some inclement weather across the state, certain games were rescheduled, meaning that Namma Warriors would face the Hubli Tigers instead of the previously scheduled game against the Bijapur Bulls.

The Warriors made their way home to Mysuru for their first game in their home city. However, it wasn’t the greatest return to their home ground. The Hubli Tigers won the toss, and captain Vinay Kumar decided that the surface looked solid enough to have a bat first. The thinking was straight forward; bat first, get runs on the board and then look to defend it.

Opener Mohammed Taha was in sublime touch, as he stroked his way to 68 runs off just 47 balls. His innings included 14 boundaries and saw him finish as the Man of The Match for the evening. By the time captain Jagadeesha Suchith managed to remove him, he had already caused a lot of damage for his team.

The Warriors came back with some good bowling in the middle and looked to be tightening the noose on the Tigers middle order, but experienced campaigner and skipper Vinay Kumar used the long handle to good effect notching a crucial 30 runs off just 17 balls to make sure that the Tigers had a respectable total on the scoreboard. Vyshak Vijaykumar and Bhareth NP picked up 3 and 2 wickets apiece for the Warriors, but were both on the more expensive side, conceding 45 and 33 runs.

Namma Warriors came out in the second innings knowing that they had their task cut out for them, and openers Raajoo Bhatkal and Arjun Hoysala got the team off to a spirited start. Following Arjun Hoysala’s departure in the 5th over, Amit Verma and Raajoo Bhatkal looked to steady the ship. By the time Shoaib Manager walked out to bat, the Warriors had their backs to the wall. He played a superb fighting innings, scoring 58 off 31 balls, with 4 boundaries and 4 big hits for maximum.

He was given company for a while by Amit Verma and Raajoo Bhatkal, but soon the wickets began to fall around him, making his task seem all the more difficult. When he was eventually dismissed after his spirited half century, the Warriors needed 14 runs off the last 7 balls of the innings. The turning point of the game came when Sharath Srinivas was run out in the 18th over. Him and Manager were running hard and looking to reduce the deficit with quick runs.

Vyshak Vijaykumar managed a hit to the fence off the 3rd ball of the last over, meaning that the equation was now reduced to 7 runs off the last 3 balls. A single and then a double left the Warriors needing a boundary off the last ball to win the game.

SP Manjunath decided to waltz down the track and try a heavy swing across the line, to try and muscle the ball away for a boundary, but the Tigers’ Kranthi Kumar had anticipated such a move, and a well bowled final delivery meant that SP Manjunath only managed a heavy edge on the ball, which flew straight into the grateful hands of Mahesh Patel at third man, giving the Tigers a thrilling 3 run victory.

Captain J Suchith was not too disappointed and felt that the Warriors were unlucky on the day. “I think we had a good game. Unfortunately, we ended up on the losing side.We just have to assess what went wrong and come back strongly in the next game. Credit goes to Manager, he backed himself and played some amazing shots.”

Hard luck for the Warriors, but well played, and we can be sure that they will come back much stronger in their next game against the Shivamogga Lions, who have also played 2 games in the tournament so far.

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