India Capitals, the GMR group-owned franchisee in the Legends League Cricket T20, fell short against Manipal Tigers in a last-over thriller as the latter chased down the total with a ball to spare here at the Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium. India Capitals, the defending champions of the opening season, scored 186 runs for the loss of nine wickets batting first. Bharath Chipli was the highest scorer for the team, with a stunning knock of 65 runs from 51 balls. However, the Manipal Tigers returned strong in the final-over thriller with an unexpected knock of 58 from 35 balls and an excellent finish by Thisara Perera, who remained unbeaten on 31 of just 16 balls.
After winning the toss, the Manipal Tigers chose to bowl first and invited the defending champions, India Capitals, to bat. Captain Gautam Gambhir opened the innings for the Capitals with former West Indies batter Ricardo Powell. They got off to a flying start as Gambhir hit three consecutive boundaries off Mitchell McClenaghan in the first over itself. The pair quickly added 31 runs in three overs before Gambhir holed one to McClenaghan. Theron, wickets kept falling for the Capitals, but the batters ensured that the scoring rate did not fall, finishing the powerplay at 61/3.
After losing Pieterson in the seventh over, Ben Dunk joined Bharat Chipli and the duo counter-attacked with their well-timed slogs. The pair added 57 runs in 38 balls to sail the Capitals’ innings through the middle overs. Ben Dunk was dismissed on 33 of 19 balls with the help of three boundaries and two big sixes. Ashley Nurse came at number eight and continued his excellent form with the bat, scoring 26 of just 12 balls and hitting three maximums. Chipli held the fort from one end as wickets kept falling and remained unbeaten at 65 of 51 balls as Capitals scored 186-9 in the 20 overs. Pankaj Singh was the pick of the bowlers as he finished with a figure of 2-25.
The Tigers started their mammoth chase with Chadwick Walton and Kyle Coetzer. In the first ball of his spell, Spinner KP Appanna broke the partnership, reducing the Tigers to 18/1. Post that, Colin De Grandhomme led the chase for the Tigers, scoring 58 of 35 balls, as he formed valuable partnerships with Walton (23 of 20) and Amit Verma (48 of 32) for the second and third wicket respectively. The spin trio of Appanna, Tambe, and Nurse picked wickets at regular intervals that put a constant hold on the Tigers’ chase. However, Thisara Perera’s powerful knock of unbeaten 31 runs of just 16 balls at the death sealed victory for Manipal Tigers in the thrilling run chase with a ball to spare.
Manipal Tigers – 187-6 in 19.5 overs (Colin de Grandhomme 58, Amit Verma 48, Thisara Perera 31*; KP Appanna 2-12) beat India Capitals – 186-9 in 20 overs (Bharath Chipli 65, Ben Dunk 33, Ashley Nurse 26; Pankaj Singh 2-25) by four wickets.
Man of the Match - Colin de Grandhomme