Pune: Ratnagiri Jets thrash CSK to win three on bounce

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Pune, June 5 2024: Ratnagiri Jets registered their third win on the trot with a convincing five-wicket victory over Chhatrapati Sambhaji Kings (CSK) in the Maharashtra Premier League (MPL) 2024 at the MCA International Stadium on Wednesday.

Riding on half-centuries by opener Dhiraj Phatangare (50, 23, 8x4s, 2x6s) and skipper Azim Kazi (52, 40b, 7x4s) Ratnagiri Jets chased down the stiff target of 189 with seven balls to spare.

Ratnagiri’s chase didn’t start too well. Murtaza Trunkwala pouched a simple catch at mid-off to dismiss Krish Shahpurkar (7, 8b, 1×4) off the last ball of the third over bowled by Anand Thenge. In the next over, Rajvardhan Hangargekar rushed impact player Preetam Patil (4, 2b) with a short delivery and Digvijay Patil grabbed a stunner running a few meters backwards.

But the momentum changed in the fifth over bowled by left-arm spinner Hitesh Walunj. Phatangare smashed Maharashtra Ranji bowler for three consecutive fours and two sixes. A wide sandwiched between fours and sixes made it a 25-run over. Hangargekar’s next over went for 16 as Ratnagiri raced to 78 for 2 at the end of the power play.

Shamsujama Kazi dismissed Phatangare with the first ball of his spell to halt the onslaught. However, along with all-rounder Divyang Hinganekar (28, 19b, 2x4s) skipper Kazi ensured that the Jets stayed ahead of DLS par score at all times with rain looming in the background.

Hinganekar perished trying to reverse-sweep Walunj, caught by Hangargekar at point. In the next over, the 16th of the innings, Hangargekar dismissed Kazi with his stock short ball to spark hope in the CSK camp. However, Nikhil Naik (24, 13b, 2x4s, 1×6) and Abhishek Pawar (16, 7b, 1×4, 1×6) took their side to a third straight win and spot at the top of the table.

Earlier, a 108-run stand in 77 balls between Onkar Khatpe (68, 42b, 6x4s, 4x6s) and Digvijay Patil (56, 44b, 4x4s, 3x6s) rescued Chhatrapati Sambhaji Kings.

CSK were tottering at 8 for 2 when the duo joined hands. Left-arm pacer Divyang Hinganekar (4-0-31-2) had once again sent back both openers – Saurabh Navale (1, 4b) and Murtuza Trunkwala (5, 4b, 1×4) in his first over.

However, after that success, Ratnagiri had to wait till the 15th over for their next success. In between, having negotiated a tricky opening spell, Khatpe and Patil kept Ratnagiri bowlers on their toes.

Nikit Dhumal (4-0-47-3) had gone for 22 runs in his first two overs (18 off his first), but he caught and bowled Khatpe to end the dangerous partnership. On the next ball, he castled Om Bhosale with a ball that went away from the left-hand batter after pitching, sending off stump cart-wheeling.

However, it still looked like CSK would get close to 200 but Pradeep Dadhe (4-0-18-2), who did not have a wicket to show for his superb bowling effort, gave away just six runs in the last over and added two wickets in his wickets column.

Brief scores: Chhatrapati Sambhaji Kings: 188 for 9 in 20 overs (Onkar Khatpe 68, Digvijay Patil 56; Nikit Dhumal 3-47) lost to Ratnagiri Jets: 190 for 5 in 18.5 (Azim Kazi 52, Dhiraj Phatangare; Rajvardhan Hangargekar 2-49) by five wickets.