Kerala Strikers won a thrilling match against the Karnataka Buldozers, decisively storming into the semi-finals of the 2013 Celebrity Cricket League (CCL).
The Kerala team is thus the first among the 8 teams to confirm the semi-final berth with a total of 6 points. In a high scoring match in which they overcame the 169 runs scored by the rivals at the Chidambharam Stadium, Chennai, Kerala Strikers proved their mettle in a pressure situation.
With the Karnataka Buldozers posting such a huge total on board, it fell to the Kerala batsmen to lift the game, though Bineesh Kodiyeri was effective with the ball. The chase looked slow with Rajeev Pillai and Madhan Mohan, who came in after Ragendu was out, taking time to settle. It was a brilliant strategy by captain Mohanlal in asking the top batsmen to play it safe first and firing later. The top order kept the scoreboard ticking with 1′s and 2′s, taking care not to loose wickets. As Rajeev Pillai (48) and Madhan Mohan (69), who batted on braving cramps, set the stage for a comeback, Sumeesh sealed the victory with a dramatic six.
Kerala Strikers won the tight match with 4 balls to spare. Madhan Mohan was awarded Man of the match for his sensational innings of 69 runs in 40 balls. For the Karnataka team, openers Pradeep (30) and Rajeev (50), and bowler Dhruv contributed. Both the teams are expected to lock horns once again en-route to the finals.
Kerala Strikers is back in the tournament with a bang, thrashing the hapless Bengal Tigers in the third match of the CCL tournament. The team won the one sided match by a huge margin of 147 runs. It fulfilled what it set out to do in style. The team won the toss and elected to bat. The Strikers lived up to its name, striking the ball with skill and precision.
Rajeev Pillai and Ragendu opened the attack amassing 152 runs for the opening wicket. Both the innings’ were studded with 4s and 6s. Rajeev Pillai scored 95 runs of 69 balls, which included four 6s and eight 4s. He was awarded the Man of the Match title for his efforts. Ragendu played a blistering knock, scoring 86 of 46 balls, striking two 6s and six 4s. Sumesh at 29 of 11 balls and Madhan Mohan at 4 remained not not, as Kerala Strikers scored 245 runs for the loss of 2 wickets.
In reply, Bengal Tigers could not come anywhere near the projected score, and struggled to reach 98 for 9 at the end of 20 overs. Madhan Mohan bowled 4 overs, taking 3 wickets and conceding 23 runs. Vivek Gopan took 2 wickets, bowling 4 overs. Ragendu, Suresh Nair and Bineesh Kodiyeri scalped one wicket each. The top scorer for Bengal Tigers was Deban who scored 21 of 20 runs. With this win, Kerala Strikers keeps alive its semi-final hopes.