Indian all-rounder Stuart Binny utilised his vast experience to propel Belagavi Panthers to an impressive 22-run triumph against Bellary Tuskers in their 2018 edition of the Karnataka Premier League (KPL).
Captaining the Panthers, Binny lost the toss on a dicey track at the KSCA Rajnagar Stadium in Hubballi. The Tuskers' decision to bowl first began to feel vindicated as a run-out and an ungainly slog gave them two wickets in the Power Play overs.
Stalin Hoover and D Avinash resuscitated Belagavi's innings with a couple of fluent cameos. However, both batsmen fell within the space of 16 balls to place Bellary on top. The situation needed a sensible knock and Binny provided exactly that.
Sensing the need to recalibrate the par score as wickets fell around him, Binny scored a gritty 34-ball 31. He curtailed his usually flamboyant stroke-play to finish with a four and six each. Towards the end of the innings, S Prashanth hammered three boundaries to swell Belagavi's total.
Chasing a competitive target of 158, Bellary embarked on an aggressive route. Codanda Karthik set the tone by smashing 31 from just 11 deliveries. The attacking knock was cut short by the wily medium pace of Mohammed Nisar.
Binny dismissed Dega Nischal to bring an end to an exciting Power Play phase. A brief partnership between skipper CM Gautham and Devdutt Padikkal ensured that the run-chase was firmly on track.
At a time when the game began to slip away from their grasp, Binny's decision to persist with S Prashanth gave a vital breakthrough to the Panthers. CM Gautham's dismissal further triggered Bellary's slide.
D Avinash polished off the lower-order in a whirlwind three-wicket spell to bowl the Tuskers out for just 135. Binny was named Player of the Match for his steady batting as well as two handy wickets.
Brief Scores: Belagavi Panthers - 157/7 (Stalin Hoover 38, Stuart Binny 31, Rithesh Bhatkal 2/19); Bellary Tuskers - 135 all out from 18.5 overs (Codanda Karthik 31, D Avinash 3/20, Mohammed Nisar 2/23, Stuart Binny 2/27)
Result - Belagavi Panthers won by 22 runsPublished 25 Aug 2018, 19:00 IST