Reaching finals for the second consecutive time, Bharath Chipli-led Bijapur Bulls will look forward to claiming the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) title as they take on Bengaluru Blasters in the final today. The Bulls thrashed Hubli Tigers by nine wickets in the second final yesterday.
After a one-sided semi-final clash against the Tigers, now the focus of Bijapur will be on the final against Bengaluru. Considering their successful opening pair and spin bowling combination, the champions from the 2015 edition will try to outplay the Blasters. On the other hand, the Blasters have never won the title apart from the first edition when the city franchise was called Provident Bangalore. The league game between these two teams was abandoned without toss because of rain in Hubli.
Players to watch out for
For the Bulls, the openers Bharath Chipli and Naveen MG are in a great form and like every game, the team management will be having great hopes from both of them to give them a great start in the final against the Blasters. Skipper Chipli was adjudged Man of the Match in the semi-final game for his impressive knock of 73 runs while Naveen scored an unbeaten 62 against the Tigers. Chipli is currently leading the top batsmen list with 235 runs under his belt.
In the bowling department, the spin twin of KC Cariappa and KP Apanna will once again shoulder the responsibility. Apanna scalped a couple of wickets for the Bulls in the semi-final game and so far he has picked up eight wickets from five games this season. On the other hand, Cariappa's economical bowling will be the key for the team as well. His economy rate is only 4.9 which is magnificent as per T20 standards.Skipper Robin Uthappa and Pavan Deshpande have been scoring well for the Blasters. The international cricketer will look forward to using his experience of playing in big matches. Deshpande is the second highest run-scorer of the tournament so far with 196 runs. In bowling, leggie Shreyas Gopal will be a player to watch out for especially after his match-winning figure of 3/13 in the semis against Mysuru Warriors.
The Behaviour of the pitch at Hubli
With the tournament reaching the final stage, the pitch at Srikantadatta Narasimha Raja Wadiyar Ground, Mysore has taken a lot of wear and tear. It has produced low-scoring matches with the total hovering around 130 in T20 games this year. The behaviour is likely to remain same with possibilities of the track assisting the spinners of both the teams.
The weather in Mysuru is likely to remain good for the game. There are no chances of rain during the evening and it is expected to be a dry one which will draw a huge crowd to the venue for the final encounter. The captains and team management will not have to think much about the D/L method and we expect to have a full game on the final day of KPL-2018.
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