In a country that lives and breathes cricket, the passion for the sport transcends all differences and lets everyone enjoy the gentleman’s game. This love for the game among the students of KMC Manipal gave rise to the formation of the KMC T20 Premier League, the second edition of which concluded on the Sunday of 8th April, 2018.
The highly anticipated finale had the defending champions KMC Thunderbirds captained by Sarthak Bhardwaj face off against an unbeaten KMC Heats captained by Ram Bhutani. The match was evenly poised as the Thunderbirds had the experience of having played and won the inaugural final, while the Heats were riding high on confidence having been unbeaten in their 3 league games.
The Heats chose to bat in the first innings and from the first over it was apparent that this was going to be an entertaining game, made much more entertaining by the live commentary and music. An amazing opening partnership among the Heats’ openers Deepak and the skipper Ram made sure the team had a strong total on the board. The Thunderbirds finally got a breakthrough in the 13th over and then went on to claim a few more till the innings came to a close with a total of 181 on the board for the Heats.
The innings break was a moment of respite for the players from the unforgiving heat of the afternoon sun with refreshments being passed around not only to the players but also among the guests sitting there to witness the game. The Thunderbirds knew they had an uphill task chasing down a huge total against a team yet to be beaten.
The second innings started with Dr. Navin Patil and Dr. Jiteshwar Singh Pannu (the most expensive player of the season). Sadly, it wasn’t enough for the Thunderbirds as a brilliant first over from Pavan Yadav saw him taking 2 wickets including the scalp of the Thunderbird’s skipper which more or less ensured that the Heats had the upper hand through the innings. The crowd also acknowledged this performance by the talented young player and cheered Pavan whenever he came near the seating area. The only highlight of the inning for the Thunderbirds was a steady 34 run knock by Dr. Navin Patil who tried to anchor the innings but to no avail. Deepak Prabhu of KMC Heats was awarded the Man of the Match for the Finals for his outstanding knock of 69 runs.
The Heats were jubilant in celebration having won The KMC T20 Premier League title, remaining unbeaten throughout the tournament. Due to an array of stellar performances, the skipper Ram Bhutani (having scored 231 runs in 4 games) was awarded the Best Batsman of the Tournament award. The crowd favourite, Pavan Yadav was adjudged both the best bowler and best fielder for an impressive tally of 9 wickets in 4 games and his agile fielding performance.
“This game with all its excitement provided a nice way to relax on an idyllic Sunday.” said one enthused member of the crowd. “The chance to see a live cricket match with the resemblance of a stadium atmosphere with all the live commentary and stadium music while cheering for your friends was surely a respite from the monotonous class routine.” said another.