On Monday, February 26, 2024, the VVIP Uttar Pradesh demonstrated that when things are in your favour, it is essential to make the most of them and sustain the winning streak. They secured their third consecutive victory in the current IVPL 2024 by defeating Telangana Tigers by 45 runs at Greater Noida.

In the context of a T20, a 45-run victory is by no means a meagre win; it’s a huge one.

The IVPL contest was highlighted by the much-awaited comeback of the legendary ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle, who was warmly welcomed by fans; the legendary left hander had missed out the first two games due to the ongoing T20 World cup promotional activities back in the Caribbean.

However, Chris Gayle’s impressive innings of 94 runs off 46 deliveries, which included three boundaries and 10 sixes, demonstrated his exceptional batting skills. As a fan seeing the lanky man out in the middle, you could sense that he still very much has it.

However, despite his remarkable performance, the team fell short in securing a win against the faultless VVIP Uttar Pradesh.

In the allotted 20 overs, VVIP Uttar Pradesh achieved an humungous score of 269/4 and effectively limited Telangana Tigers to 224/8, despite a stellar performance from Gayle.

Choosing to bat first, VVIP Uttar Pradesh encountered an initial setback when Bhanu Seth, thus far in great form, was dismissed in the opening over.

Countering the dismissive batter with spin was perhaps the masterstroke that Telangana deployed; however, it wouldn’t be enough as one noted eventually.

Thereafter, the talented Anshul Kapoor and the redoubtable Pawan Negi formed a strong 182-run alliance for the second wicket. Kapoor scored 71 runs off 45 deliveries, whereas Negi’s dynamic performance featured 16 fours and 8 sixes.

Clearly, the standout batter thus far alongside Red Carpet Delhi’s Richard Levi, VVIP Uttar Pradesh’s Pawan Negi is the one to watch.

But despite Kapoor and Negi getting dismissed, VVIP Uttar Pradesh managed to achieve what is, so far, the highest team total in the first edition of the rising IVPL: 269/4 in their designated 20 overs.

Captain Suresh Raina also played a significant role by scoring 27 runs from just 13 deliveries.

Telangana Tigers had a rough start in pursuit of 270 when they lost S.S. Bharath Kumar in the opening over. Despite maintaining a steady scoring rate, they also suffered frequent wicket losses throughout the innings.

From 12/1 to 58/5, all five wickets of the Telangana Tigers fell within the powerplay. This was already going downhill for the team in pursuit of a monster score.

But there was no stopping Christopher Henry Gayle, who persisted in hitting sixes to maintain hope. The southpaw single-handedly lifted his team from 58/5 to 198/7, scoring 94 in the process.

Interestingly, Chris Gayle, who rarely engages in running between the wickets, did so on quite a few occasions, thereby presenting his intent clearly.

At the same time, he excelled in hitting boundaries and sixes, lifting the spinners easily over the ropes and sending the white ball several rows back into the thriving stands at the Greater Noida stadium.

Those who had gathered at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex on Monday got their entertainment’s due as the big man kept everyone on the tenterhooks perhaps even the VVIP Uttar Pradesh till the time he stayed put with his powerful shots.

But, as the target proved to be too challenging, Gayle faced mounting pressure to sustain the run rate. Unfortunately, he was caught out in deep long on, much to the dismay of his fans who had gathered to watch him play. Despite this setback, he managed to entertain everyone, even though his efforts were not enough to secure a victory for his team.

After Gayle got out, achieving the target seemed out of reach as Telangana needed 54 runs in the final over. The VVIP team from Uttar Pradesh managed to limit Telangana Tigers to a score of 224/8.

After this outcome, VVIP Uttar Pradesh is scheduled to play against Mumbai Champions on Wednesday, while Telangana Tigers will compete against Chhattisgarh Warriors on Tuesday.


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