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Bhilwara Kings off to a ‘great start’ against Manipal Tigers

A superlative opening partnership between Tatenda Taibu and Jesse Ryder helped the Manipal Tigers post 175/8 in 20 overs against the Bhilwara Kings in the eighth match of the Legends League Cricket (LLC) on Monday.
The decision to put the Tigers in to bat first at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack almost
backfired on Kings’ captain Irfan Pathan as the rival openers swung into action with big
hits from the very beginning. Nothing looked to work for the Kings as Taibu and Ryder
thrashed anything loose from Fidel Edwards, Tino Best and captain Irfan.
A copybook six over Irfan’s head from Taibu showed that his skills with the bat remain as
it were during his playing days. The duo plundered 63 without loss in the six Powerplay
overs with their outstanding strokeplay.
Former Zimbabwe captain Taibu was more fluent, scoring 54 off 30 balls with five fours
and four sixes. New Zealander Ryder too was at his aggressive best as he slammed 47 off
35 balls, with six boundaries and two sixes. The opening pair shared a 109-run
partnership before Irfan was bailed out by his elder brother, Yusuf Pathan. Bowling his
part-time spin, Yusuf (2/25) removed both Ryder and Taibu in the 11th over of the
The dual strike pushed the Tigers on their backfoot somewhat and their run rate
dropped. Corey Anderson (24) and Mohammad Kaif (32) tried their best to force the
pace of the innings, but did not quite succeed. The Tigers’ hopes of having a couple of
big overs at the death were hit hard when Caribbean speedster Best (3/20) scalped
three wickets in the 19th over.

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