KAALAI BEAT PATRIOTS IN TIRUNELVELI CLIFF-HANGER!
Karaikudi Kaalai registered their first win of the India Cements TN Premier League on Saturday as they beat Albert TUTI Patriots by eight runs at the India Cements Limited Ground at Sankarnagar, Tirunelveli.
Kaalai skipper Badrinath scored a superb 49 on a difficult wicket where the ball didn’t come easily on to the bat.
Earlier, Kaalai, who won the toss and opted to bat first, were off to a shaky start as they lost both their openers within three overs.
L Balaji (1 for 10) and Ganesh Moorthi (1 for 15) bowled superbly and stemmed the run-flow.
Also, Kaalai only scored their first boundary after three overs.
Just as they looked to settle in, a one-handed blinder from Balaji at mid-off sent back Vishal Vaidya (7).
Balaji, who in the process injured the back of his head, left the field but was declared fine later.
Wickets fell at regular intervals and Patriots’ bowlers looked dominant throughout the innings.
Badrinath tried his best to play a lone hand as he took quick singles and punished the loose deliveries.
Ganpathi Chandrasekar (28), who accelerated in the 18th over for Kaalai, was bowled by Aswin Crist (3 for 28).
That over also had Crist conceding 19 runs with the former dismissing Badrinath.
Washington Sundar (2 for 11) ended Chandrasekar’s cameo as Kaalai ended up with the lowest total in the venue in the three matches played so far.
Chasing a modest 112-run target, Patriots lost two key players in Abhinav Mukund (8) and Sundar (1) before the power-play.
Mohan Prasath (1 for 18) and Shoaib Md Khan (1 for 9) caused the early collapse and later Patriots also lost Kaushik Gandhi (27) who was dismissed by R Rajkumar (2 for 17).
The required run rate hovered around 5.5 till the 12th over but regular loss of wickets made it tough for Patriots.
With 40 runs required in as many deliveries, Suresh Babu (1 for 16) gave a crucial breakthrough when he removed U Sushil (1) after taking a brilliant catch off his own bowling.
Anand Subramanian (24) threw away his wicket thanks to a straightforward catch to Rajkumar off Sonu Yadav’s (1 for 17).
Kaalai were kept in the fray thanks to their spinners who choked Patriots’ run-flow.
The boundaries dried up as Sumra and Crist stole singles and twos with the equation finally boiling down to 12 runs required in the last over.
But Chandrasekar played hero and picked up three wickets for three runs to seal the game for Kaalai.
Brief Scores: Karaikudi Kaalai 111 for 8 (Subramanium Badrinath 49, 46b, 5×4, Ganpathi Chandrasekar 28, 17b, 3×4, 1×6, Aswin Crist 3/28, Washington Sundar 2/11) Albert TUTI Patriots 103 for 9 (Kaushik Gandhi 27, 29b, 3×4, S Anand 24, 34b, 1×4, R Rajkumar, C Ganapathy 3/23, 2/17 Shoaib Md Khan 1/9) by eight runs.