The Karnataka Premier League (KNPL) 2019 has had a damp start so far with two matches being abandoned due to rain and one being curtailed heavily. Fans would hope that the important face-off between Hubli Tigers and Bijapur Bulls at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium on the 22nd of August is not marred by rain.
The tournament needs full and entertaining games to keep it alive and running. In its tenth season, the KNPL would hope to have as many thrilling matches as possible.
Hubli Tigers vs Bijapur Bulls Preview
Both the Hubli Tigers and Bijapur Bulls are yet to win a game in the tournament, with Bijapur Bulls securing one point in their last match with a tie and Hubli Tigers languishing at the bottom of the table with no wins. Hence, it will be important for both the teams to win this game to stay alive in the tournament.
The Hubli Tigers can take heart from the fact that in the last five matches between them and Bijapur Bulls, the Tigers have won four games. Captain Vinay Kumar would hope that his side can pick up some steam and repeat their form against the familiar foes.
The Tigers have a solid squad and has enough players to cover all the bases. In Manish Pandey they have a quality top-order batsman of international repute. Pandey would be itching to make an impact in this game. KB Pawan, who is the only batsman from the team to get a 50 so far in the tournament, will look to continue his form in the middle-order. The likes of M Vishwanathan, wicket-keeper batsman Luvnith Sisodia and KL Shrijith would also need to chip in.
The bowling department for the Tigers would be led by captain Vinay Kumar who has a wealth of experience and knows this ground inside out. Vidyadhar Patil was very expensive in his last game and would need to check that. Aditya Somanna and Mitrakanth Yadav bowled good spells in their last game and would need to be at their best in this one.
For the Bijapur Bulls, captain and opener Bharath Chipli would have to lead the way as he did in the last game with a sparkling 39. Raju Bhatkal and Swapnil Yelave were the other performers that the team would look to bank on. Wicket-keeper batsman Gonnabattula Chiranjeevi would need to come good though if the middle-order has to make an impact.
The Bulls have a lot of variety in their bowling armory. Seamer Santhebennur Akshay was outstanding in the last game, conceding just 7 runs in his 2 overs. Left-armer Prateek Jain too showed promise and the team would depend on these two heavily to curtail the Tigers. Another important weapon the Bulls have is leg-spinner KC Cariappa who also has IPL experience and who can be a handful if the pitch is slow.
Match prediction – Hubli Tigers vs Bijapur Bulls:
With all the rain around, the pitch at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium is expected to be a little slower than usual. Hence spinners and seamers would have a say. It should be a pitch where a score of 150-odd can be challenging.
While the Hubli Tigers haven’t begun the KNPL on a good note they still look like the team that should emerge victorious in this game, given their depth.