KAALAI THUMP GIANTS BY 52 RUNS, PUT THEM ON BRINK OF ELIMINATION
Madurai Super Giants crashed to their fourth consecutive defeat in the India Cements TN Premier League on Tuesday as were thumped by 52 runs by Karaikudi Kaalai in Chennai.
This was Giants’ fourth straight loss in the tournament and it has all but ended their chances of qualifying for the knockouts.
The West Indian duo of Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo, and Kollywood star Silambarasan aka Simbu were amongst the guests present at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Kaalai won the toss and elected to bat in what was effectively a do-or-die match for both teams.
R Rajkumar was the standout performer for Kaalai as he scored a superb 46 and also picked up a four-wicket haul.
Also, a fine opening spell by Mohan Prasad (3 for 16) gave Kaalai the ideal start.
Rajkumar’s knock came in just 18 deliveries, and included four boundaries and four sixes.
Kaalai got off to a steady start as they lost only one wicket for forty runs in the power-play.
Though two quick wickets by Bafna (2 for 14) seemed to have moved the game in Giants’ favour, all the hard work was undone thanks to a fifth-wicket partnership between Rajkumar and S Anirudha (15).
The duo scored 52 runs off 25 balls as ‘Universe Boss’ Gayle lauded their efforts!
Bafna, who was at his miserly best, conceded only 14 runs in his four overs and also picked up the crucial wickets of R Srinivasan (15) and S Badrinath (24).
Rajkumar was eventually castled by Amarnath but then the damage had already been done.
The Kaalai innings, which had six sixes and eleven boundaries, was largely aided by Giants’ sloppy efforts on field.
Also, the mid-innings break had Bravo entertaining the crowd with his song and dance rendition of ‘Champion’.
As the crowd mimicked his actions, chants of ‘Bravo, Bravo’ echoed round the stadium.
The loss of three quick wickets in the Powerplay put Giants on the back foot.
Mohan Prasath’s (3 for 16) left-arm spin consumed the wickets of S Thiyagarajan (6), Arun Karthick (13) and Suresh Kumar (1) in the first four overs.
Kaalai’s bowlers choked their opponents with Rajkumar being the stand-out performer.
Giants were eventually bowled out for 97 and are almost on the brink of elimination after this loss.
Brief scores: Karaikudi Kaalai 149/7 in 20 overs (R Rajkumar 46, 19b, 4×4, 6×4; Raja M 2/33, Maan K Bafna 2/14) beat Madurai Super Giants 97 in 16.1 over (Mohan Prasad 3/16, Rajkumar R 4/19) by 52 runs