Ratnagiri beat Pune to qualify for Maharashtra Premiere League playoffs 

Ratnagiri beat Pune to qualify for Maharashtra Premiere League playoffs 

Ratnagiri beat Pune to qualify for Maharashtra Premiere League playoffs 

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Pune, June 19, 2024: Ratnagiri Jets held their nerves to defeat 4S Puneri Bappa by six runs and qualify for the Maharashtra Premier League (MPL) 2024 playoffs at the MCA International Stadium here Tuesday.

Put into bat, Ratnagiri posted 178 for 5 in their 20 overs courtesy of opener Dhiraj Phatangare’s (33, 22b, 3x4s, 3x6s) attacking knock and late tonking by wicketkeeper-bat Nikhil Naik (41*, 19b, 2x4s, 4x6s). Tennis-ball sensation Vijay Pawale defended 10 runs off the last over against Pune skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad to earn his side a deserved victory.

The win elevates Ratnagiri to the top of the points table (12 points; 6 wins, 5 losses; NRR +0.550). They are guaranteed a top-two finish due to their superior Net Run Rate and will play in Qualifier 1 on Wednesday. Their opponent will be determined after the last league game between PBG Kolhapur Tuskers and Raigad Royals.

Phatangare’s blitz

Ratnagiri had failed to put runs on the board in their two previous matches. Thus, their skipper Azim Kazi (19, 25b, 2x4s) promoted himself up the order along with Phatangare. Although Kazi failed to make an impact, Ratnagiri ended power play 55 for no loss.

However, once Pune’s spinners came into the picture – tennis-ball player Rohan Kharat (4-0-30-1) and chinaman Roshan Waghsare (4-0-28-1), Ratnagiri’s scoring rate slowed down considerably despite Kiran Chormale’s 38 off 22.

Nikhil Naik then smashed Sachin Bhosale (18 runs off the 18th over and 22 runs off the 20th over) to help Ratnagiri Jets put up a fighting total.

Pune collapse

All-rounder Sahil Churi (2-13) rocked Pune twice in the fifth over by removing both openers – Ramkrishna Ghosh (17, 13b, 1×4, 1×6) and Pavan Shah (13, 16b, 1×4). Buoyed by this, Ratnagiri were outstanding in the field and reduced Pune to 62 for 5 after 10.1 overs. 

The momentum shifted towards Pune when Suraj Shinde (55, 22b, 2x4s, 5×6) blasted off-spinner Yogesh Chavan for 30 runs (6, 4, 6, 6, 2, 6) in the 12th over. But Divyang Hinganekar castled Shinde to pull the game back by the end of the 17th over. 

Vijay Pawale conceded 14 off the 18th over but held his nerves well against Ruturaj Gaikwad (23*, 18b, 1×4, 1×6) and gave away just three runs to secure his side a spot in the playoffs. 

Brief score: Ratnagiri Jets: 178 for 5 in 20 overs (Nikhil Naik 41*, Dhiraj Phatangare 38, Kiran Chormale 38; Ramkrishna Ghosh 2-36) bt 4S Puneri Bappa: 172-9 in 20 (Suraj Shinde 55, Ruturaj Gaikwad 23*; Sahil Churi 2-13) by six runs.