Yet another closely fought battle came down to the last few balls and eventually, the Telugu Warriors were powered to victory by Thaman with 2 balls to spare
Last Updated: 07.22 PM, Mar 24, 2023
The Karnataka Bulldozers had come into the semi-final of this edition of the Celebrity Cricket League after winning all of their qualifying league matches. On the contrary, the Telugu Warriors had just scraped by, having won 2 and lost 2; making it to the round of four based solely on a marginally better run rate than the Chennai Rhinos. There was no way they’d squander the possibility of playing another CCL final. But for that, they’d have to overcome their formidable opposition.
Playing on home ground in Vishakapatnam, Telugu Warriors skipper Akhil Akkineni and his boys were all charged up, ready to give the Karnataka Bulldozers a run for their money. After winning the toss, he sent the Bulldozers in to bat, a call that the latter’s captain Pradeep Bogadi wasn’t pleased about, but took in his stride nevertheless. He opened the innings with Darling Krishna in a partnership that was broken only in the 7th over. Once Krishna departed, the Bulldozers had a middle-order collapse as Chandan Kumar was run out shortly after and then the Warrior’s Samrat got rid of, Rajeev Hanu, Karan Aryan and Arjun Bachchan in consecutive balls. All the while, Pradeep bravely soldiered on, getting to a 50, which helped take the Bulldozers to a final score of 99 in their first set of 10 overs. Chasing this first innings total, the Warriors seemed well on course to get to it, and maybe even cross it, but the Bulldozers got wickets at regular intervals and stemmed the run flow to a large extent. Eventually, the Telugu team got tantalizingly close and finished four runs short at 95 for the loss of six wickets.
The Bulldozers opened their second innings with Rajeev Hanu and Kiccha Sudeep. But despite his best efforts, the latter was unable to contribute to the team score, departing for a duck after facing only five balls. Rajeev and J Karthik then tried to stabilize the innings, with the former making to 32 of 21 balls before being caught by Prince of Sachiin Joshi’s bowling. Karan Aryan, Arun Bachchan and Krishna added 13, 12 and 13 respectively, pushing the final total to 98 runs for five wickets. With the four run first inning lead, the Bulldozers set an effective target of 103 for the Warriors to chase.
The Telugu Warriors returned to bat with a plan – keep the runs flowing. Roshan’s 27 of 9 balls, followed by Thaman’s 25 of 15 towards the end got them across the finishing line in style, crushing the Karnataka Bulldozers’ chance of playing a record seventh final.
Catch all the action of the CCL 2023 finale on the official YouTube page of CCL or tune in to the broadcast partner Zee Network. The final of this edition of CCL will be held on March 25 in Vizag, with the Bhojpuri Dabanggs taking on the Telugu Warriors at 7 pm.