TUTI Patriots jump to third spot in the points table. Photo Courtesy: TNPL Website

TUTI Patriots thrash Madurai Super Giants by 33 runs in Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) 2016. Lakshmipathy Balaji won the toss and elected to bat first. The decision paid off as his batsmen went all guns blazing and put a mammoth 168-run target on the scorecard. All the same, it was Kaushik Gandhi who was in thick of the things once again. Meanwhile, his fellow opener fell for 4. But that did not hold Kaushik back from boasting of his staggering batsmanship. Like he did in the previous match, he took the bull by its horn and emulated his flamboyance. Also read: LKK keep playoffs hopes alive thrashing DD by 16 runs

After 3 overs, the scorecard read 10 for 1. However, Kaushik took M Raja to the cleaners and smashes two boundaries in the fourth over. His intention was clear: go great guns even if wickets tumble at the other end. In the next over, he played a lovely flick over square-leg, dictating terms to the opposition. To make matters worse for the Giants, he exploited the covers region and plundered two more boundaries in the last over of the mandatory powerplay. After 6 overs, Patriots were 42 for 1.

Meanwhile, Maaruthi Raghav joined the party, smashing two fours and six. However, his stay was cut short SS Kumar by trapping him in front. In came Washington Sundar. Along with Kaushik, he made masterful stroke play and kept the scoreboard ticking.

One more six-and-four over. On the other hand, Kaushik decided to give Raghav the most strike. the staggering duo stitched up a partnership of 85 runs off 60 balls for the third wicket. ALSO READ: TNPL 2016, DDD vs LKK: Preview and Predictions

But after 15 overs, they had scored only 97, and they needed someone to go berserk, taking them past 150. And that’s when Kaushik pressed on the accelerator and reduced the Giants bowling unit to nothingness.

All in all, they scored 70 runs in the last 5 overs, registering 167 on the scoreboard.

Giants were clearly playing for pride, as they lost six consecutive matches. And this was only match to prove their worth. In short, they had nothing to lose and decided to go on rampage right from the word go. However, like it happened in the previous matches, nothing went their way. They lost three wickets in the first five overs. ALSO READ: DDD vs LKK, Live Streaming: Watch TNPL 2016, Match 26, Live telecast on TV

The onus was then PS Chandra and Maan Baafna to give their team some hope. He smashed a four and two sixes in the last two overs of the mandatory powerplay. Baafna later bludgeoned a colossal six over long-on. They needed 119 off 12 overs. But Balaji and Akash Sumra produced some excellent spells to put a lid on the runs. The pressure eventually mounted on the batting team, as Bafna was run-out while taking an extra run.

The new batsman Aswin Christ hit a couple of boundaries to revive the momentum, but they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. They, then, needed 71 off 24.

They had no option but to hit boundaries at will. And they did manage to smash either a six or four every over. With 48 needed from the last over, the victory clearly belonged to Balaji’s in-form side.

Eventually, Patriots won the match by 33 runs and jumped to the third spot in the points table, with a healthy net run-rate of +0.414. On the other hand, Giants remained at the bottom of the table.

Balaji, the captain of the winning side said, “We wanted to play fearless cricket and that’s what I asked from my players. Kaushik did exceptionally well and he continued his form today. Don’t look at the scoreboard and play according to your instincts, that’s what I keep telling the boys. The wicket is a bit slow and we can’t complain. As I said, we need to play to our strengths and play instinctively. The boys have really done well throughout.” ALSO READ:TNPL 2016, VBTV vs LKK: Preview and Predictions

On other hand, Shijit expressed disappointment, “I was just telling my manager that apart from net sessions we need to have toss sessions. We need to improve on our bowling and especially our death bowling. We need to have someone to stay there till the end and accelerate. We hope to come back strong next season.”

Gandhi was yet again awarded Man of the Match for his remarkable performance. He added, “I’ve been playing really well in the past couple of months, happy that I converted my start into a big one in the last 2 games. We started a bit slow but we managed to get a good score in the end.”

Brief scores

TUTI Patriots 167 for 6 (Kaushik Gandhi 86, Washington Sundar 34; M Ganesh Moorthy 2 for 15) beat Madurai Super Giants 134 for 8 (P Chandran 33, P Francis Rokins 28 ;M Raja 3 for 41) by 33 runs