Aniruddha Joshi played a blinder, scoring a half-century at blistering pace, while Rishi Bopanna and Pradeep T. caused significant damage with the ball as Bengaluru Blasters handed Mangalore United a 66-run defeat in the Maharaja Trophy T20 cricket tournament.
Batting first, the Bengaluru Blasters saw L.R. Chethan (6) depart cheaply before captain Mayank Agarwal took charge, along with Aneesh K.V. The India batter was the more aggressive of the two, bringing out his full range of shots during the powerplay.
Agarwal looked set for a big knock but was dismissed for 47 off 27 balls, having hit two fours and three sixes. He and Aneesh put on a solid 74-run stand, giving the team some much-needed momentum.Aneesh added 40 to the cause while Shivkumar Rakshith chipped in with a handy 34 driving the total past 150 at a good clip.
By the time Rakshith was dismissed, 190 was in range with Aniruddha Joshi teeing off at the other end.Aniruddha threw the kitchen sink at the bowlers in the slog overs, scoring a 23-ball fifty, playing an explosive knock that took the Blasters to 191/4 in 20 overs, according to a release by the organisers.
After the break, the Blasters continued to dominate as Mangalore's batting line-up collapsed quite quickly. Macneil Noronha was out for 5, Nikin Jose got 7, Aneeshwar Gautam was packed off for 1 and Sujay Sateri added 8 as they lost four wickets in the powerplay.
Captain Samarth R. seemed to have got his touch back but could do precious little from the other end.Samarth though could only manage 32 while Abhinav Manohar added 23 to the cause, to show some resistance.
Muralidhara Venkatesh was dismissed for 2 as the Blasters continued to tighten the noose, going on to win by 66 runs.
Brief scores: Bengaluru Blasters 191/4 in 20 overs (Aniruddha Joshi 57 not out, Mayank Agarwal 47, Aneesh K.V 40, Shivkumar Rakshith 34; Aneeshwar Gautam 1/25, Somanna 1/19) beat Mangalore United 125 all out in 16 overs (Samarth R. 32, Abhinav Manohar 23, H.S Sharath 22 not out; Pradeep T. 3/20, Rishi Bopanna 3/26, Kranthi Kumar 2/13).