Eagle Nashik Titans ease past Ratnagiri Jets

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Pune, June 16, 2024: It was the third time lucky for Eagle Nashik Titans in the Maharashtra Premier League (MPL) 2024. Nashik had failed to defend targets over 200 in their last two games – 222 vs PBG Kolhapur Tuskers and 212 vs Chhatrapati Sambhaji Kings – but successfully defended 208 against Ratnagiri Jets, to win by 21 runs, here at the MCA International Stadium here on Sunday.

Riding on half-centuries by India U-19 Arshin Kulkarni (51, 39b, 7x4s, 1×6) and Atharva Kale (65, 33b, 3x4s, 6x6s) Titans once again put up a formidable total on the board. Nashik’s icon player Mukesh Chaudhary stepped up when his team needed him the most – 2 for 23 in three overs and two catches – to restrict Ratnagiri Jets to 187 for 8.

The Jets’ No. 10 batter Sahil Churi (53*, 16b, 5x4s, 5x6s), who smashed the fastest 50 in MPL history in 16 balls, was the top-scorer for Ratnagiri.

Ratnagiri Jets are still the table toppers with 10 points from 9 games, while Nashik, also on 10 points from 9 matches are third due to their inferior net run rate. However, their standing will change depending on the result of Sunday’s second game between PBG Kolhapur Tuskers and Chhatrapati Sambhaji Kings.

Mukesh steps up

Chennai Super Kings pacer Chaudhary sent both Ratnagiri openers back into the hut in the first over. He trapped Dhiraj Phatangare (0, 1b) in front on the first ball and castled Tushar Shrivastav (0, 2b) on the last ball to puncture Ratnagiri’s chase. Their impact player – Preetam Patil – too was back in the dressing room (3 off 3) after taking a body blow in the second over.

The Jets’ skipper Azim Kazi (26, 23b, 3x4s, 1×6) and Divyang Hinganekar (32, 28b, 2x4s, 1×6) tried to rebuild the innings. However, Nashik’s impact player – pacer Rehaan Khan – bowled a superb spell of 4-0-27-1 unchanged in the middle overs to slow down Rantagiri’s march. Khan also scalped the wicket of Kazi.

From the other end, Nashik captain and leggie Prashant Solanki (4-0-31-3) was menacing. He castled Kiran Chormale (14, 7b, 1×4, 1×6) and followed that up with a prized wicket of Nikhil Naik (17, 15b 1×4) and Preetam Patil (12, 11b, 1×6) to leave the Jets tottering.

The only time Ratnagiri were in the ascendancy was when Churi was at the crease but it was too late by that time.

Earlier, it was Arshin Kulkarni and Atharva Kale show. The duo added 78 for the third wicket to set up a platform for another big total. They were aided by handy contributions – Sahil Parikh (22, 11b, 2x4s, 2x6s), Dhanraj Shinde (23, 9b, 3x6s) and Ranjit Nikam (20*, 9b, 1×4, 2x6s).

Brief scores: Eagle Nashik Titans: 208 for 5 in 20 overs (Atharva Kale 65, Arshin Kulkarni 51; Sahil Churi 1-31) bt Ratnagiri Jets: 187 for 8 (Sahil Churi 53*, Divyang Hinganekar 32; Prashant Solanki 3-31) by 21 runs.