Mysuru (Karnataka) [India], August 15 (ANI): Manish Pandey scored an unbeaten 86 for the Gulbarga Mystics, but it was Abhinav Manohar's counter-attacking unbeaten 55 off 25 balls which stole the show as Mangalore United won an absolute nail-biter by 3 wickets on Sunday evening.
Asked to bat first, the Mystics had Devdutt Padikkal and Rohan Patil looking solid early on as they played some stylish shots in the first couple of overs. Patil, who had previously scored a century, was the first to depart though for 10 after which Padikkal was also on his way for 16 in the 5th over. Jeswath Acharya was packed off for 6 as the Mystics had a bit of a wobble before Manish Pandey and Krishnan Shrijith took charge.
The duo came together at the end of the 7th over, and batted brilliantly from then on in, thwarting the Mangalore bowlers with relative ease initially, before breaking the shackles. Both batters matched each other shot for shot, clearing the field with ease and running hard between the wickets too. Manish really went for it in the 16th over, hitting a hat-trick of fours en route to a half-century. Right after, Shrijith was dismissed for 36 but at the other end, Manish was going through the gears in the slog overs.
New batter Manoj Bhandage didn't need an invitation to join the party either and was dealing in boundaries, before being castled for 29 off 11 with an over to go. Manish then finished off the innings with a flurry scoring 20 in the final over and remaining unbeaten on 85, having hit 7 fours and 4 sixes.
Mangalore United captain Samarth R's poor run of scores continued when they came out to bat as he was dismissed for a duck, leaving Macneil Noronha and Nikin Jose to do some rebuilding. While both looked good, and have been in form, they added 32 runs to the cause together. Nikin was the second wicket to fall for a quickfire 18. And just before the powerplay ended, Noronha was knocked over for 24 off 13 deliveries.
Aneeshwar and Sujay Sater then got their act going in the middle overs. Both got starts and looked set to play the big knock, however, neither could convert and stitch together a 48-run partnership. Anneshwar was the first to depart for 30 off 31 balls, hitting four boundaries, while Sater got 29 off 21, with three fours and a six in his knock.
Mangalore had a mountain to climb in the final five and a half overs. On cue, Abhinav Manohar and Amit Verma started to up the ante with immediate effect. Amit cleared cow-corner with ease while Abhinav chipped away at his end. Amit's stay ended after 9 balls in which he scored 15 and a few deliveries later M Venkatesh was also packed off for 7. Manohar though was soldiering on, bringing down to 16 needed in the final over.
Manohar had HS Sharath for the company and they hammered three sixes, one to finish it off and give Manohar his fifty as well, as he led the Mangalore side to an improbable win in Mysore.
On India's Independence Day, Mangalore United take on Bengaluru Blasters at 3 PM while the Gulbarga Mystics play Hubli Tigers in the 7 PM game, both in Mysore. These are the final two games in Mysore before the tournament moves to Bangalore.
Brief Scores: Gulbarga Mystics - 191/6 in 20 overs (Manish Pandey - 86* off 45 balls, K Shrijith - 36 off 29 balls, Manoj Bhandage - 29 off 11 balls, Vijaykumar Vyshak - 3/28, HS Sharath - 2/44) lost by 3 wickets against Mangalore United - 195/7 in 19.4 overs (Abhinav Manohar - 55* off 25 balls, Aneeshwar Gautam - 30 off 31 balls, Macneil Noronha - 24 off 13 balls, Shreesha Achar - 3/26, Codanda Ajit Karthik - 2/33)(ANI)