Following their loss to the Bijapur Bulls on the previous day, the Warriors were looking to come back very strongly against the Bengaluru Blasters on Sunday. Captain Jagadeesha Suchith won the toss, and asked Robin Uthappa to bat first, which has seemed to be a good strategy for the Warriors this season.
KC Avinash and KB Pawan came out to open the innings for the Blasters, but NP Bhareth was too good for them, sending them both back trapped in front of the wicket. Shreyas Gopal was sent back on the very first ball, with Prateek Jain getting him caught by Sharath Srinivas.
Skipper Uthappa played a good innings of 34, but was bamboozled by Amit Verma before he could capitalize on the good start he had made. That brought Pavan Deshpande in, and he played a superb innings. He scored 76 off just 54 balls, with 7 boundaries and 2 sixes. Along with Vineet Yadav’s run-a-ball 30, they manged to put on 87 runs together, getting the Blasters to 148-4 in their 20 overs.
The Warriors’ top order had an off day, as the first 4 wickets only managed 47 runs. Raajoo Bhatkal was out caught on the very first ball he faced, with Arjun Hoysala only managing 6 runs.
Amit Verma scored 11, while KV Siddarth was out for 9 off 8 deliveries. Sharath Srinivas played a good, responsibleknock, as his 37 runs helped to set the track for a possible comeback. Shoaib Manager only scored 3, while captain Suchith was dismissed before he could build a big one from his well-made and quick 17 runs.
Once Sharath Srinivas was dismissed, things were starting to look tough for the Warriors. SP Manjunath showed great character, and he made a very composed 34 off 24, with 4 boundaries and a six. NP Bhareth hit 2 quick boundaries to keep him company at the other end.
The last over began with the Warriors needing 11 runs to get home. SP Manjunath played a sensational reverse sweep under pressure off the very first delivery before taking a single. With 6 runs needed off 4 balls, VyshakVijakumar was trapped LBW by Anand Doddamani. Prateek Jain came out, and following 2 quickly run singles, the Warriors needed a boundary off the last ball. Prateek Jain was on strike, andcould only manage a drive for one. The Blasters won by 2 runs in the end.
Captain Suchith was optimistic about his team’s chances in the semi-final after the game. They have had a chance to size up the Blasters and will be looking for revenge in the Semis. He said ”It was a good match for us, but we failed to win. Wicket became slower in the end and it gripped too. Manujanth needed a hit but he couldn’t hit it. That was the only positive for us. We will come with a positive mind on the semi-final’s day. I hope crowd will turn out in the semi-final too.”