Ratnagiri Jets Defeat Puneri Bappa in Rain-Affected Match, Secure Qualifier 1 Spot

Pune, June 24, 2023: In a rain-truncated match, the Ratnagiri Jets emerged victorious against Puneri Bappa by eight runs (DLS method) to secure a top-two finish in the Shriram Capital Maharashtra Premier League (MPL). The match took place at the MCA International Stadium in Gahunje on Saturday afternoon.

Ratnagiri’s win guarantees them a spot in Qualifier 1, where they will face the winner of the Eagle Nashik Titans versus Kolhapur Tuskers match. The upcoming Qualifier 1 is scheduled for Monday, June 26. However, in case of unfavorable weather conditions, Sunday has been kept as a reserve day.

Due to heavy rainfall prior to the scheduled start, the game’s commencement was delayed by an hour and a half. Consequently, the match was reduced to 15 overs per side.

After winning the toss, Ratnagiri Jets’ captain, Azim Kazi, elected to field first. Puneri Bappa’s opening batsmen, Pawan Shah (12 runs off 13 balls, including one boundary) and Shripad Nimbalkar (30 runs off 19 balls, including three boundaries and one six), provided a brisk start. However, Nikit Dhumal dismissed Shah in his second delivery.

Shubham Taiswal (36 runs off 24 balls, including three boundaries and two sixes) played an entertaining innings, hitting Ratnagiri bowlers around the park. However, Vijay Pawale, known for his expertise with the tennis ball, dismissed Taiswal, breaking the partnership.

Pune’s innings failed to gain momentum thereafter, reaching a total of 129 runs, with wicketkeeper-batsman Suraj Shinde contributing a quick-fire 23 off 15 deliveries. Left-arm spinner Kunal Thorat, with figures of 2-23 in 3 overs, was named the player of the match for his exceptional bowling performance.

During the chase, Ratnagiri’s captain, Azim Kazi, made a quick start, scoring 21 runs off 9 balls, including three boundaries and one six. However, he was caught by Abhimanyu Jadhav in the second over. Preetam Patil, batting at No. 3, played a crucial role, scoring 20 runs off 11 balls, including three boundaries and one six, to keep Ratnagiri ahead of the DLS par score, considering the looming rain.

Rain interrupted the match in the eighth over of the chase, and unfortunately, the game could not resume. Consequently, Ratnagiri Jets secured their fourth victory in the tournament.

In a noteworthy development, Puneri Bappa’s skipper, Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has been named in the Indian Test and ODI squad for the upcoming West Indies tour, was rested for this match. With Pune already qualifying for the playoffs, the team decided to give Ruturaj a break, considering his national duty commitments.

Brief Scores: Puneri Bappa: 129 for 6 in 15 overs (Shubham Taiswal 36, Shripad Nimbalkar 30; Kunal Thorat 2-23) Ratnagiri Jets: 70 for 3 in 7.4 overs (Azim Kazi 21, Preetam Patil 20; Sachin Bhosale 2-17)

Result: Ratnagiri Jets won by eight runs (DLS method).

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