All-rounder Divyang shines in Ratnagiri’s win

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Pune June 20, 2023: Ratnagiri Jets paid big money, ₹4.6 lakh to be precise, for the services of all-rounder Divyang Hinganekar. The 29-year-old proved his worth with a true all-round performance as the Jets defeated Chhatrapati Sambhaji Kings by 17 runs in Shriram Capital Maharashtra Premier League (MPL) at the MCA International Stadium on Tuesday night.

Asked to bat first, Ratnagiri put up 173 for 5 in their 20 overs and defended the total without a fuss to register their second win in the tournament. Chhatrapati Sabhaji Kings remain winless after three games.

Hinganekar smashed 46* (15b, 2x4s, 5x6s) in death overs, 26 of them in the 19th bowled by Rameshwar Daud (2 for 50 in 4 overs) to give Ratnagiri’s scoreboard some semblance. He then bagged a wicket in the first over while opening the bowling (1 for 25 in 3; 1 for 30 in 4).

The all-rounder who plays for the PYC Hindu Gymkhana in Pune, then took a brilliant catch of Om Bhosale 20 (18b, 1×4, 1×6) in the 10th over to swing the game in Ratnagiri’s favour. In the last over of the match, he also pouched a skier of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Kings’ skipper Rajvardhan Hangargekar 21 (8b, 3x6s) to douse any flickering hopes of anti-climax and deservedly took home the player-of-the-match award.

Earlier, Ratnagiri skipper Azim Kazi at the toss said that he would have batted first if he had won the toss and did not mind that his opposite number inserted them in. Opening the innings, Kazi led from the front with a composed 53 (47b, 6x4s, 1×6) and held the Jets’ innings together with a 69-run partnership with veteran Nikhil Naik 38 (25b, 3x4s, 2x6s). Coming in to bat at 110-4 in the 16th over, after the latter’s fall, Hinganekar changed the course of the match.

Chhatrapati Sambhaji Kings’ bowling attack looked sharper in this game with Rajvardhan Hangargekar (0 for 27), offie Shamshuzama Kazi(1 for 23) and left-arm spinner Hitesh Walunj (1-28) bowling well.

However, their counterparts were far more clinical and never let Chhatrapati Sambhaji Kings score runs freely. Left-arm spinners – Azim Kazi (0 for 21 in 3) and Kunal Thorat (1-26) bowled economical spells; the latter conceding only one four and one six, that too in his last over. That over also bagged him a wicket of Onkar Khatape, who top-scored with 60 (48b, 4x4s, 2x6s) for Chhatrapati Sambhaji Kings.

Also, pacers Vijay Pawale (2-34 in 4) and Pradeep Dadhe (3-18 in 3) were on a hattrick in the 10th and 20th overs respectively, but could not achieve the feat.

Brief scores: Ratnagiri Jets: 173 for 5 in 20 overs (Azim Kazi 53, Divyang Hinganekar 46*; Rameshwar Daud 2-50) bt Chhatrapati Sambhaji Kings: 156 for 8 in 20 (Onkar Khatpe 60, Shamshuzama Kazi 27*; Pradeep Dadhe 3-18) by 17 runs