Chetan Williams turned the semifinal clash on its head with an explosive assault on the bowlers to help Hubli Tigers snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and earn the right to contest the final of the Karbonn KPL powered by Cycle Pure Agarbathies T20 cricket tournament.
On Saturday at the KSCA Stadium in Rajnagar, Williams and KN Bharath’s whirlwind 55-run unbroken seventh wicket partnership in 17 action-packed balls floored Belagavi Panthers by four wickets. Till Williams came on to the scene it looked like the Panthers would run away with the match. They set a target of 154 in 20 overs and then had the Tigers gasping at 101 for 6 in 15.5 overs. At that stage, it looked like the game was up for Hubli Tigers.
But Williams, a tall, slim right-hand batsman, changed the scenario in double quick time. He blasted five sixes and a solitary four in his unbeaten 39 which came off a mere 13 deliveries. At the other end, a more circumspect KN Bharath upped the ante when required to give him excellent support. His unbeaten 27 (21b, 2x6, 1x4) was as handy in fashioning the stunning win. Williams who also bagged three wickets for 41 runs was declared man of the match.
Earlier, put into bat, Belagavi Panthers were indebted to skipper Vinay Kumar who led from the front to help set up a challenging target. The Panthers started impressively with Mayank Agarwal (19) and Anurag Bajpai (44 off 27 balls) posting 42 runs in 3.5 overs. They kept up the scoring rate till the 10th over but fell away drastically till Vinay Kumar (33 off 33 balls) accelerated the scoring towards the end.
Vinay Kumar also got rid of the dangerous Mohammed Taha early to put Belagavi on top. But Chetan Williams was around to spoil his and Belagavi Panthers’ party.
Belagavi Panthers: 153 for 8 in 20 overs (Anurag Bajpai 44, Vinay Kumar 33, Mir Kaunan Abbas 20, Chethan Williams 3/41) lost to Hubli Tigers: 156 for 6 in 18.4 overs (Chethan Williams 39 n.o, Dikshanshu Negi 30, KN Bharath 27 n.o, Abhishek Sakuja 2/25) by four wickets.
Orange Cap- M Agarwal
Purple Cap-J Suchith