Race for play-off spots in Shriram Capital MPL

Share this News:

Pune June 19, 2023: Shriram Capital Maharashtra Premier League (MPL) is already at an intriguing stage. After Game 6 on Sunday, teams are in clutches of two. Puneri Bappa and Eagle Nashik Titans are on 4 points. Ratnagiri Jets and Kolhapur Tuskers are on 2 points, and Solapur Royals and Chhatrapati Sambhaji Kings are yet to open the account.

By the time this report is published, either Pune or Nashik will be on six points and a step closer to play-off qualification after their game on Monday. It has a huge bearing on Tuesday’s two games.

In the day’s first game, Solapur Royals will face Kolhapur Tuskers, hoping to recover from a bruising loss against Eagle Nashik Titans. Solapur bowlers have done a decent job in both games but their batters will have to step up big time.

Solapur’s icon player Vicky Ostwal (2-25 & 1-20) has done a commendable job of picking up wickets at crucial junctures. However, skipper Satyajeet Bachhav would love to take his game a notch up. Leggie Sunil Yadav impressed with his performance against Nashik and if this spin trio puts their hand up again, they are capable of restricting Kolhapur’s explosive batting.

It’s the Solapur’s batting that has let them down on both occasions. Maharashtra opener Yash Nahar (14 & 17) has got starts but has failed to convert them into big scores. Rushabh Rathod (44 & 32) has been the only consistent batter in the line-up and needs others around him to fire.

On the other hand, Kolhapur would want their skipper Kedar Jadhav and big-money signings – Naushad Shaikh, Sahil Autade and Sachin Dhas to fire, they would want Ankit Bawne to make it three big scores on the bounce after 72 and 105* in the first two games.

Spin two of office Taranjitsingh Dhillon and left-arm spinner Akshay Darekar are vital cogs of the Kolhapur bowling unit and would like their relatively inexperienced bowling unit to show their mettle.

CSK face Jets

Led by young speedster Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Chhatrapati Sambhaji Kings have failed to make a mark on the tournament so far. Their bowling attack has looked toothless – especially Rajvardhan and former India U-19 Mohsin Sayyed. If the two pacers step up, then Chhatrapati Sambhaji Kings would hope to pose a threat against Ratnagiri Jets.

In batting, wicketkeeper Saurabh Nawale has been the only spark and CSK would hope that the likes of Murtaza Trunkwala, Om Bhosale, and Abhishek Pawar make significant contributions.

As far as Ratnagiri Jets are concerned, opener Tushar Srivastav has batted long in both their games but has a poor strike rate and in hindsight, 45 dot balls against Kolhapur is what cost Ratnagiri their game against Jets. Should Jets batters pick up their strike rates, they can pose a formidable total on the board.

Ratnagiri has a well-rounded bowling attack with Maharashtra regulars Pradeep Dadhe, Nikit Dhumal and Divyang Hingnekar forming the core of the pace attack. They also have sensational tennis ball specialist pacer Vijay Pawale in their ranks, while skipper Azim Kazi and Junal Thorat are two left-arm tweakers.

The equations are simple in both games, Solapur and CSK are looking for their first points, while Kolhapur and Ratnagiri would want to boost their play-off hopes.