Shivamogga Strikers signed off their campaign in style on Monday with a thrilling six-wicket victory over Gulbarga Mystics in the Maharaja Trophy KSCA T20 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
The result hardly mattered as the Mystics had already booked their berth in the playoffs beginning on Tuesday while the Strikers were out of contention. But playing for pride and looking for a third victory, and second in succession, in 10 matches, the Strikers again punched above their weights, reaching the revised target of 54 of seven overs with three balls to spare after rain interrupted play when they were chasing 119 for victory.
Needing eight of the last over, D Avinash (11*, 6 balls, 1 six) pulled Gulbarga Mystics catchment area player Ajay Goud’s slower one high over the deep midwicket fence to seal victory and handover a demoralizing defeat to the Mystics ahead of their knockout match on Tuesday. Krishnamurthy Siddharth contributed a fine 12-ball 18 (1 four, 1 six).
With very little at stake, the Mystics could have easily used the match for some crucial fine-tuning, but they messed both with the bat and the ball to end second on the points table with 12 points, behind table toppers Bengaluru Blasters, who finished with 14 points from their 10 matches.
Batting first, the Mystics did not get going at all. They kept losing wickets at regular intervals and could have been bowled out for a below-100 total but for Ritesh Bhatkal’s (38, 24 balls, 1 four, 3 sixes) late counter-attacking cameo.
He slammed a four and six of successive deliveries in the 19thover and two successive sixes in the 20th to take the Mystics to a respectable 118.
Gulbarga Mystics 118-9 (Jeswath Acharya 22, Rithesh Bhatkal 38; Utham Aiyappa 2-23, K C Cariappa 2-22; D Avinash 3-24) lost to Shivamogga Strikers 54-4 in 6.3 overs (Krishnamurthy Siddharth 18, D Avinash 11*),
7pm: Qualifier 1