This semi final match held on 29 December at NMPT Grounds was definitely a decisive match for both the teams in order to play at the finals. Maestro Titans won the toss and to everyone’s surprise, team skipper Akshay Ballal elected to bat in the first innings while in all other toss wins, he elected to field first.
Taking that into consideration, the Titans put up a good number of runs in their first innings. As the game began, batsmen Rohan Kadam and Akshay Ballal took the score to 68 before Rohan lost his wicket to a run of his half century. However, Akshay played a careful game and reached 87 runs before getting run-out by Manoj from Team Elegant. After Akshay lost his wicket, Lokesh, Sinan, Ashwin, Rajat, Karthik, Ashjath, Sureen and Abhilash contributed their bit to get the total score to 174 in 20 overs with an average run rate of 8.70.
On the bowling end, Maestro Titans put up a good show as they restricted Team Elegant’s run rate with their fielding despite certain number of runs they gave by overthrowing the ball. As Team Elegant got to 84, they lost their second wicket to Rajat’s bowling while Abhilash Shetty got the first wicket at 22 runs in the second over. Akshay proceeded to get two wickets, Sinan Abdul Khadar and Abhilash Shetty got one wicket each, Asjath got two wickets in a single over and Rajat won three wickets in the whole game.
The final five overs proved to be very decisive for both the teams; some among the audience were seen sitting at the edge of their seats as pressure started building up. This is when Rajat, Asjath and Abhilash took over and refused to give Team Elegant even the least number of runs in those five overs. At 164 for 9 wickets in 19.5 overs, Team Elegant lost the match as the last wicket was caught and bowled by Rajat in the last delivery of the game.
Akshay Ballal won this fourth ‘Man of the Match’ title in this game along with a purple and orange cap for batting and bowling achievements respectively. In MPL 2016 tournament, Akshay scored 414 runs and won 14 wickets. He is highly appreciated by his team members, coach and owner for his achievements on the same regard.
Maestro Titans and team Coastal Digest will lock horns at the MPL 2016 finals to be held at NMPT Grounds on 30 December at 6 PM.