Dinesh Karthik (l) and Abhinav Mukund(r) added 81 off just 36 balls Image courtesy: Twitter
Dinesh Karthik (l) and Abhinav Mukund(r) added 81 off just 36 balls Image courtesy: Twitter

In the first ever final game of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) 2016, the TUTI Patriots thrashed the Chepauk Super Gillies by 122 runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai to be crowned as the champions.  In what was expected to be an evenly matched game, the TUTI Patriots won the toss and chose to bat in front of a fully jam-packed crowd. The openers Kaushik Gandhi and Abhinav Mukund started off in an emphatic way as they went after the Super Gillies bowlers from the very first ball. Both the openers batted so brilliantly that the bowling department looked completely helpless. Both Gandhi and Mukund looked comfortable as they proved their captain’s decision to bat first right.

It is every finalist team’s dream that they would get their best game in the finals and that is what the Patriots would have thought off when they came out to play. Both the TUTI Patriots opener toiled the Super Gillies bowlers in every way possible. After one stage it looked like the Gillies blowers had given the game away and were just bowling for the sake of it. To this extent the Patriots openers had got their domination too. Ther bowlers tried every variation they could but still they had no answer to the power-hitting both these openers had put on display. The openers went on to put an opening stand of 132-runs in just 13 overs. K Gandhi was first to depart as he tried to go for a big one but was caught out as he mistimed the ball. Gandhi scored 59 off deliveries before walking back towards the pavilion.

Next came in the Patriots skipper Dinesh Karthik who followed the same route as his previous batsmen did, or maybe he went one step ahead of them. Karthik looked aggressive throughout his stay on the wicket. He played some delightful strokes all over the ground and took the anchor role in the second wicket partnership along with opener Mukund. Both these batsmen made an outstanding stand of 81 runs off 36 balls. Karthik who had come in to bat at the score of 132 for the loss of one wicket made sure that his team crossed the total of 200 before he was dismissed. Mukund all this while was playing the second fiddle in this partnership and was just giving the strike to his captain who looked in amazing touch on the other side of the wicket. Abhinav Mukund remained not-out on an individual score of 82 off just 52 deliveries to make a strong remark of his form in the shortest format of the game

Karthik was dismissed on an individual score of 55 off 26 balls. His innings consisted of five boundaries and four dazzling sixes. By the time the skipper had departed the Patriots had already crossed the line of 200 runs and stood in the pole position to win the match as they made 215 for the loss of just 2 wickets in 20 Overs.

With a huge target of 216 the Chepauk Super Gillies never really started. They had a lot riding on the opening pair Thalaivan Sargunam and K Gopinath as they had the capacity to bash the bowlers in the early stage of the match. But skipper Karthik got Ganesh Moorthi to bowl the very first over of the second innings to everyone’s surprise. This decision from Karthik worked wonders as  Ganesh Moorthi got rid of the in-form opening pair of Sargunam and Gopinath and the Gillies skipper R Sathish in the very first over. He got rid of Gopinath and Sathish on consecutive deliveries and in his second over when he was on an hattrick ball, he got rid of Uthirasamy Sasidev to complete his hattrick. The Gillies never looked like getting up from this as their main four batsmen had already gone back to the dugout.

Sathiamoorty Saravanan who was the Man of the Match in the second semi-final against the Lyca Kovai Kings was the only batsman from the Gillies who went past the score of 15. He tried to score some runs for his team but kept falling short of partners at the other end and eventually his innings also came to an end thus marking the end of batters for the Gillies. Rain did interrupt the game twice but that was more or less like a drinks break and it did not do any damage to the game of cricket.

Ganesh Moorthi who picked up 4 wickets finished with the figures of 4-1-11-4 while the veteran bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji finished with the figures of 2-0-8-2. Other bowlers complemented the each other well and they hardly bowled any loose balls. Eventually, the Super Gillies innings was done and dusted at 93 as the Patriots managed to win by an emphatic margin of 122 runs as they signed off this tournament in a grand style.

Ganesh Moorthi was named Man of the Match for his brilliant bowling effort, while N Jagadeesan from the Dindigul Dragons was named as the Player of the Tournament as he made the highest runs in the tournament. With ythis the firt edition of the TNPL ended in a gran style but the organisers of the tournament have promised about at least 2 more editions in the coming years with additional venues and much more cracking action.

Brief Scores:

Albert Tuti Patriots 215 for 2 in 20 overs (Abhinav Mukund 82*, Kaushik Gandhi 59, ; Sai Kishore 1-35) beat Chepauk Super Gillies 93 all-out 18.5 overs (Vasanth Saravanan 30; Ganesh Moorthi 4-11, L Balaji 2-8) by 122 runs.