A responsible knock by Namma Shivamogga opener Sadiq Kirmani, who scored the first fifty of the fifth edition of the Karbonn KPL powered by Cycle Agarbathies, a 63-ball 69, was not good enough to stop hosts Hubli Tigers from registering a tense two-wicket win over Namma Shivamogga, in the opening match at the KSCA Rajnagar stadium, Hubbali, here on Saturday morning.
Hubli Tigers asked Namma Shivamogga to bat first, on an overcast morning with a pitch that offered some assistance to the bowlers upfront. Sreenath Arvind was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3 for 16 from his four overs.
The batsmen started flexing muscles soon after they got their eye in. Kirmani hit the ground running with some handsome strokes, but Nikin Jose (37), holed out to long-off, where Stallin Hoover took a nice catch diving forward. His dismissal seemed to open the flood-gates for Shivamogga, who lost their next five wickets for a mere 46 runs. Stuart Binny (11), Pawan Deshpande (1), Zeeshan Ali (2), Siddharth (0) and David Mathias (5), all fell cheaply trying to up the ante.
However, a combative knock from Kirmani ensured that Shivamogga ended their innings with a modest 129 for 6.
In reply, the Tigers got off to a flying start with both Taha and Abhishek Reddy making full use of the fielding restrictions, though both batsmen departed for 13 and 23 respectively, after playing some entertaining shots.
Left-arm orthodox spinner, A Kazi turned out to be Shivamogga’s lynchpin in the bowling department, picking up three for 23, and was complemented well by right arm off-spinner, Zeeshan Ali, who bagged one wicket for 21 runs.
Even though the Tigers middle -order showed vulnerability against spin, a heady mix of exuberance and maturity from Vinu Prasad (22) and Kranthi Kumar (7), steered the Tigers home with an over to spare.
It was hard going for Namma Shivamogga, and despite their bowlers, bowling a nagging line and length; it was the home side – Hubli Tigers who took the honors, amid much fan-fare.
S Arvind was adjudged the Man of the Match, for his match-winning spell of 4-1-16-3.