Bengaluru: The Hubli Tigers stormed into the finals of the Shriram Capital Maharaja Trophy KSCA T20, powered by FanCode. They rode on the back of a 114-run partnership between Md. Taha (69 off 38 balls) and KL Shrijith (61* off 39 balls) as they beat the Shivamogga Lions by 8 wickets with six overs to spare in the first semi-final.
After the Shivamogga Lions were put in to bat in the first semi-final against Hubli Tigers, openers Rohan Kadam (54 off 44 balls) and Nihal Ullal (7) were off to quiet start scoring 37 runs without losing any wicket. Hubli made their first inroad in the seventh over as Mitrakanth Yadav got rid of Nihal Ullal cheaply bringing Vinay Sagar (13) to the crease.
Runs were hard to come by for the Shivamogga Lions with the Hubli bowlers bowling tight lines and their fielders backing them up. The pressure built by the bowlers paid off as Rohan Kadam was dismissed by Manvanth Kumar in the 12th over soon after reaching his half century. Vinay Sagar and Abhinav Manohar (2) were also sent back the following over after which the score read 81-4. Both HS Sharath (18) and Shreyas Gopal (16) got starts but failed to convert them as Shivamogga further slipped to 117-6 at the start of the 18th over.
Pranav Bhatia (17*) and Kranthi Kumar (9*) provided a late flourish to the innings following the dismissal of S Shivaraj (6) as the Shivamogga Lions went on to end up on 149-7.
19 runs off the first over bowled by Shreyas Gopal set the tone for the 150-run chase as the Hubli Tigers went on to score 77 runs in the powerplay despite Luvnith Sisodia (13) falling in the second over. Opener Md. Taha (69) tore apart the Shivamogga Lions’ bowling attack with seven sixes in the first six overs.
Md. Taha and KL Shrijith put together a partnership of 114 runs from 67 balls during the course of which Taha brought up his fifth half century of the tournament in 23 balls before he was dismissed for 69 off 38 balls. With just 17 runs to get off 46 balls after his wicket, the Hubli Tigers went on to win the match by 8 wickets with six overs to spare as KL Shrijith stayed unbeaten on 61* from 39 balls thereby entering the finals.
Hubli Tigers won by 8 wickets with 36 balls to spare
Shivamogga Lions 149-7 in 20 overs: (Rohan Kadam 54 off 44 balls, HS Sharath 18 off 16 balls, Pranav Bhatia 16* off 7 balls, Manvanth Kumar 2-29, Lavish Kaushal 2-32, Praveen Dubey 1-7)
Hubli Tigers 153-2 in 14 overs: (Md. Taha 69 off 38 balls, KL Shrijith 61* off 39 balls, Luvnith Sisodia 13 off 5 balls, V Koushik 1-17, Nischith Rao 1-24)