Bangalore: Jiwaji University, Gwalior faltered in their run chase against Jain University, Bengaluru as the Southern Champs notched their second win in as many matches in the Toyota University Cricket Championship on Tuesday night. Western Wizards Jiwaji University managed all of 132 for 5, chasing Bengaluru's imposing 171 for eight in this T20 clash. The 39-run win puts Jain on top of the group A table.
Opener Sanat Gurjar blasted his way to a 48-ball 52, but the Gwalior boys lacked the experience to chase a big score against some wily bowling by the Jain University spinners. With the run-rate mounting, Gurjar and skipper Sohraab Dhaliwal (23) threw their wickets away trying to play lusty strokes and the middle-order wasn't good enough.
The home team used its bowling strength well. The spinners came on early and the troika of Shashindra, Gopal and Bowler of the match Samarth Ravikumar spun a tight line to force the Gwalior boys play loose strokes. Ravikumar, who was the Man of the Series in the Rohinton Baria Trophy, finished with impressive figures of 2 for 16 in his four overs.
"We bowled better than Jiwaji and hence we won the match," said Ravikumar after the match. The off-spinner added that he was not under pressure from the Jiwaji batsmen and just bowled a good line to keep the batsmen quiet.
Earlier, skipper Kaunain Abbas, who scored an unbeaten 128 against VBS Purvanchal University Jaunpur on Sunday, once again came to the party at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Man of the Match Abbas scored a breezy 74 off 48 balls as the home team scored 171 for 8 their 20 overs.
Initially, it was not the best of batting performance by the Southern Champs from Bengaluru but the script changed in the last five overs. The Western Wizards Gwalior boys bowled and fielded with gusto as Jain lost wickets at regular intervals to lose the advantage of winning the toss on a good batting track.
The Bangalore team (82 for five) lost half their side by the 12th over with their top batsmen either playing poor strokes or running non-existent singles.
The departure of Ravikumar, one of the expected stars of the Toyota University Cricket Championship, was a big setback for the home team. The Jiwaji boys fielded well and Ravi Sikarwar's flat throw that ran out Nihal Ullal from point was an outstanding effort.
In spite of losing wickets, Jain managed to keep a healthy run-rate of seven-plus throughout. The 44-ball 78-run seventh-wicket stand between Abbas and Shreyas Gopal produced a torrent of runs as the latter slammed a cameo 42 off 24 balls. Gopal's knock was studded with two fours and three sixes.
Abbas (9 x4, 3x6) was of course the mainstay of the Bengaluru innings. His fifty came off 41 balls and he celebrated that by taking 24 runs off the 19th over bowled by medium-pacer Himanshu Babbar to play a typical captain's knock that took Jain University to a total that looked improbable at the 10th over. Off-break bowler Prashant Mavai was Jiwaji's best bowler with 3 for 31 runs.