BSL 4: Ravana Sena continue their winning run, Centaurs enter Masters Group and Villainous Vampires register their 1st win of BSL 4

Ravana Sena won their 3rd consecutive match of BSL 4 by defeating Sphinx Samaraveeras in the first match of Masters Group. With this win Ravana Sena, the side led by Nishanth AJ remained the only unbeaten team in the tournament. It was once again Kadir Velu who scripted Ravan Sena's win with his all-round brilliance and also received his 2nd consecutive Man of the match award for this performance.

Due to a delayed start, the match was cut short to 18 overs per side. Electing to field first after winning the toss, Ravana Sena would have expected a great start by picking up early wickets. But the opening pair of Samaraveeras, Dilip G and Lakshmi Kanth got of Samaraveeras to a great start with a 46 run partnership for the 1st wicket. It was clever batting from the duo as most of the runs were taken through quick running and big shots were avoided initially. The duo slowly began playing attacking shots and runs started coming quickly. On the last ball of 7th over, Ravanas bowler Abhishek Puri who was playing his first game of BSL 4 managed to give his team a breakthrough by dismissing Lakshmi Kanth. Soon Dilip too was dismissed by Abhishek Puri in his second over. Dilip was dismissed for 28 runs which he scored from 31 balls and his innings included 3 boundaries. Dilip's dismissal brought Chinni Vijay Kumar to the crease and he along with Subhashish combined well to put up a partnership of 26 runs for the 3rd wicket before Subhashish was dismissed by Ravanas spinner Prashant through a superbly taken catch of his own bowling. Thereafter Samaraveeras started losing their wickets in a hurry and ended up scoring 104 runs for loss of 9 wickets in 18 overs. The bowling heroes for Ravanas were Abhishek Puri and Kadir as both picked 3 wickets each while Prashant picked a wicket too.

Man of the match: Kadir (on the left) 
In reply, Ravanas got off to a steady start but lost their opener Ashik as soon as he reached his double figure mark and team score was 17. Johnson Joseph who was promoted as an opener for Ravanas looked in great touch. Soon after Ravanas lost their 1st wicket, Johnson Joseph who started slowly quickly changed his gears and started scoring runs quickly and easily. On the other end, Prashant as usual batted sensibly. He kept the scoreboard of Ravanas ticking by picking up quick singles and doubles and gave Johnson a handy support in the middle. The duo added 42 runs for the 2nd wicket before Prashant was dismissed. Soon Johnson too was dismissed after scoring 34 in 25 balls. And thus 2 new batsmen were at the middle for Ravanas and Samaraveeras would have hoped for few more quick wickets so as to get a good grip on the match. But Ravanas batsmen Nishant Tomar and Kadir Velu dashed the hopes of Samaraveeras as the duo combined well to make a 38 run partnership for the 3rd wicket. By the time this partnership was broken with the dismissal of Kadir, Ravanas were just 3 runs short of the target with 7 wickets in hand. Kadir was dismissed for 22 runs of 15 balls and his innings included 2 fours and a six. Soon Nishant too was dismissed when Ravanas needed just 1 run to win. Soon Ravanas batsman Amit picked up the single which was needed to win the match and it was all over. For Samaraveeras Lakshmi Kanth picked up 2 wickets, while Nikhil Sandeep, Dilip and Chetan all picked up a wicket each.

Kadir was awarded Man of the match for his all round performance were in he picked up 3 wickets with the ball and scored 22 runs with the bat. 

Centaurs win a low scoring thriller, enter Masters group

It was a match Centaurs had to win and with a good margin in order to reach the Masters group as they had lost their first encounter against the same opposition. And they did just that as they managed to beat Zombie Killers in another low scoring thriller.

Deciding to bat first after winning the toss, Centaurs lost their 1st wicket before the team reached the double figure mark. Centaurs sprang in a surprise with their 1st down batsman who was considered a tail ender before. But he proved the captain right by putting up a gritty display against the fiery Shishir BN who had demolished top order of Centaurs in their previous encounter. Avinash and Sandeep S put up a 19 runs partnership for 2nd wicket before Centaurs batsman Sandeep was dismissed. Soon Avinash too returned to the pavilion in quick succession after scoring 12 runs. One more wicket fell soon after and Centaurs were left struggling at 34 for 4. A much needed partnership for Centaurs came up for the 5th wicket when Suresh and Aman were in the middle for the Centaurs. Aman looked in good touch as he hit 4 boundaries before being dismissed. The duo added 23 runs for the 5th wicket before Aman was dismissed for 17. Thereafter Centaurs lost their way as they kept on losing wickets and were all out for 72 runs in 15.5 overs. For Zombie Killers Jithin and Nagaraj picked up 2 wickets each, while Shishir, Vivek Nair and Raushan Anand picked up a wicket each.

The Centaurs had their task cut out in the 2nd innings, bowl the opposition out for less than 64 to qualify. Zombie Killers needed to just get 64 regardless of the result to qualify, Zombie Killers chase too did not get off to a great start as their opener Hilal was clean bowled by Centaurs skipper Bharath Sequeira in the very first over. Bharat and his bowlers came out all guns blazing. There was a lot of chirping on the field and the intensity was infectious, Zombie Killers opener Anupam and Wasim Basha the man who came in for Zombie Killers after their 1st wicket, held on to their Nerve and started playing slowly but sensibly as they did not have a high score to chase. But soon their partnership was ended by Centaurs leg spinner Suresh as he dismissed Wasim. This wicket was the turning point of the match as Zombie Killers who looked in a comfortable position before this wicket started losing wickets in a hurry there after and were all out for 49 runs in 12.5 overs. For Centaurs, Suresh was the chief of Zombie demolition as he picked up 4 wickets while pacer Bharath Sequeira picked up 3 wickets and Avinash picked up 2 wickets and played supporting roles in Zombie demolition. 

Suresh was awarded Man of the match for his brilliant bowling performance.

Villainous Vampires register their 1st win of BSL 4

Villainous Vampires registered their 1st win of the tournament courtesy a brilliant batting display from their skipper Shankar Ram. Also this was the first match of the Do-or-die group.

The Griffin Warriors team who were missing their Captain, Siddhu Rupesh and Mentor Nav Krishna and their biggest buy Nikhil Virupakshi were led by pacer Santosh Prasad, who didn’t have a great start to the game when he sprained his ankle before the toss. Winning the toss Griffin Warriors chose to bat 1st against the formidable line up of Villanious Vampires. Griffins who were missing their 3 star players started as underdogs and were looking for a positive start. Hrishikesh and Viney Kumar, the griffin openers, did just that, they started off briskly, Hrishi in particular was charging down to Praney T who seemed to be generating good pace and bounce from an otherwise dead wicket even managing to hit Viney Kumar on the grill, Uday opened the bowling alongside Praney for VV and both are known to quite handy and nippy. All seemed to going well till Viney K played on to a Praney T delivery. Vaibhav Chugh was the surprise 1 down batsman for Griffin but he too got off the blocks soon and was looking to be in good nick but  didn’t stay long. Hrishi was bowled by Ajinkya and Vaibhav followed him back to the pavilion soon bowled by Praveen S. That brought In Suraj Hegde, Suraj a RH Middle order player has played quite a few good knocks in practice matches but had never made his presence felt in previous BSL’s, and this was the perfect opportunity for him in the absence of their star players, and boy did he live up to the expectations. Suraj got off to a steady start, dispatching the bad balls to boundary and rotating the strike at ease, however Suraj didn’t get enough support at the other end as wickets keep falling, That didn’t affect his batting though and he went from strength to strength, with some glorious strokes to the fence and a few sailing over the Mid wicket and square leg fence deep into the farmland. Suraj remained unbeaten on 58 in the end and was huffing and puffing . Griffin ended their innings at a respectable 133 which at this pitch looked like a winning total.

134 runs target on this particular pitch was a huge ask for any team. And VV's were in a spot of bother right in the 1st over as they lost their opener Praveen S. But the other VV opener Tarun and skipper Shankar who walked in to bat at the fall of 1st wicket were calm and brilliant in their approach as both played some classy shots and ensured they were scoring at a good rate too. Boundaries started flowing and suddenly 134 runs target looked easily achievable. Unfortunately the partnership between these two were broken in a free hit delivery. Tarun who was on strike was clean bowled in the free hit delivery, Shankar who was at the other end called for a run and was almost near the strikers end but Tarun who was in a state of confusion and unawareness attempted to run to the non-strikers end but was too late and was run out in a strange manner. Manjunath Udupa who walked in to bat after Tarun's dismissal also gave handy support to Shankar and yet again a 40+ runs partnership was generated for VV's. As the partnership was nearing half century Dhayalan struck to remove Manjunath. Gopi Chinappa came in next to join Shankar and both were brutal against the Griffins bowlers. Shankar was dismissed on 47, 3 runs short of his fifty. His innings included 5 boundaries and a six. By the time Shankar was dismissed VV's were at a touching distance from the target and Gopi Chinappa along with Shiva Kumar ensured VV reached the target without any further wicket. Gopi Chinappa remained not out on 25 runs fron 22 balls and his attacking innings included 3 fours and a six. For Griffins stand in skipper Santhosh picked 2 wickets while Dhayalan picked one wicket.

Shankar was adjudged Man of the match for his superb batting effort.


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