Tuti Patriots withstood a belligerent charge from Anthony Dhas to upstage Lyca Kovai Kings by six runs in a rain-affected Sankar Cement Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) match at the NPR College ground, here on Thursday.
After Tuti Patriots rained a record number of sixes to post 155-5 in 13 overs, LKK appeared down for the count after losing three wickets in the first 10 balls. But Dhas made a bold bid for victory and held sway between the 7th and 12th overs by clobbering seven sixes and two fours in a 26-ball blitz of 63 runs.
LKK, who were struggling at 62-4 in 6.1 overs, needing another 94 runs in 41 balls saw their hopes being ignited by Dhas’ attacking strokeplay. The 31-year-old did not waste any time and went after Sivagnanan Senthilnathan’s gentle medium-pace bowling by smacking two back-to-back sixes in the 8thover and followed it up by a hat-trick of sixes in the next over bowled Tuti Patriots’ captain Siva Subramania’s military medium pace. LKK’s best bowler, pacer Tamil Kumaran (2-18) was also not spared as Dhas hit him for a six off the first ball but the bowler kept him quiet for the rest of the over.
After 10 overs, LKK’s score read 112-4, which was at par as Tuti Patriots (112-5) at that stage. Medium-pacer Athisayaraj Davidson was hit for two fours and a six off successive balls as Dhas completed his maiden 50 in TNPL off just 19 balls. It was the second-fastest 50 after Sundar Washington’s 15-ball fifty for Tuti Patriots against Chepauk Super Gillies in 2017.
The equation was looking ominous for Tuti Patriots after 11 overs as LKK were 131-4 needing another 25 runs off 12 balls. But the seasoned veteran S Vasantha Saravanan got the 2016 champions back into the match by inducing an edge off the dangerous Dhas to wicketkeeper M Kamalesh. With his crafty medium pace, Saravanan not only claimed a prized scalp but conceded just five runs in the penultimate over that also saw a needless runout of another settled batsman Akkil Srinaath (32 off 21 balls, 1 four, 3 sixes).
Dhas and Srinaath were involved in the highest partnership of the match raising 71 runs off 32 balls with Srinaath’s contribution being a mere four runs.
Tuti Patriots were in control of the proceedings once again with 20 needed for LKK to win. Senthilnathan began the final over by dismissing Malolan Rangarajan, who holed out in the deep and conceded just a wide in the next three balls. TP was assured of victory as 19 runs were needed off the last two balls but Jaganath Srinivas clouted two sixes to end the match in a flourish.
It meant both teams had smacked 15 sixes each to set a pair of new records in TNPL history. Both TP and LKK set a new mark for the most number of sixes hit in an innings bettering the earlier mark of 14 sixes by Karaikudi Kaalai against VB Thiruvallur Veerans in 2017 and Dindigul Dragons against Madurai Panthers in 2018. Incidentally, all three matches were played at the same ground.
The 30 sixes in the match was also a new record surpassing the 22 sixes hit in the game between VB Thiruvallur Veerans and Lyca Kovai Kings in 2017.
Lyca Kovai Kings chase took a big hit at the start when they lost three wickets in the first two overs. Davidson who bowls with a slinging action, triggered celebrations in the TP camp by dismissing LKK captain Abhinav Mukund (0) with a full-length delivery that rattled the stumps. In the next over, T Kumaran struck twice to send back opener M Shahrukh Khan (8) and B Anirudh Sita Ram (2) to leave LKK reeling at 13-3 in 1.4 overs.
Debutant Mohammed Ashiq and Akkil Srinath were the first to take on the TP attack. Ashiq started by smacking Subramania Siva for a six in the fifth over before clouting left-arm spinner Ganesh Moorthi for a massive hit over the mid-wicket fence. In the same over, the left-handed Srinath stunned the rivals by cracking three back to back sixes as LKK collected 26 runs from the over, the highest in the match.
The alliance between Ashiq and Srinath worth 49 runs in 27 provided the platform for Dhas to launch himself. Davidson claimed Ashiq, whose big hit went high for Senthilnathan, running in from long-off to pouch a well-judged catch.
Earlier, put into bat, TP opener Akshay Srinivasan began the onslaught smashing four sixes in his 11-ball 31 before captain Subramania took charge by carting five sixes and two fours in his 21-ball 41. Together they raised 54 runs in just 19 balls for the second wicket.
S Abishiek (20 off 13 balls, 3 sixes) too joined the six-fest before Vasanth Saravanan (29 not out off 12 balls, 2 fours, 2 sixes) and SP Nathan (11 not out off 9 balls, 1 six) closed out the proceedings in style. Saravanan and Nathan collected 44 runs in 21 balls for the unbroken fifth wicket.
Medium-pacer Dhas (3-42) was the most successful of the bowler for LKK, picking two of his three wickets in his second over. He first claimed Subramania and then dismissed Abisheik in a space of four balls.
Overall, 132 minutes were lost in the game due to rain reducing the match to 13-over-a-side match. The Powerplay overs were limited to four and only three bowlers could bowl a maximum of three overs.
Both teams next travel to ICL-Sankar Cement their next matches. Tuti Patriots face last year’s finalists Dindigul Dragons in the first match of the double-header on Saturday while Lyca Kovai Kings take on Ruby Trichy Warriors in the second match on the same day.
Tuti Patriots155-5 in 13 overs(Akshay V Srinivasan 31, V Subramania Siva 44, S Abishiek 20, Vasanth Saravanan 29 not out; Krishnamoorthy Vignesh 2-27, Anthony Dhas 3-42) beat Lyca Kovai Kings 149-7 in 13 overs (N Mohammed Ashik 19, Akkil Srinaath 32, W Antony Dhas 63; V Athisayaraj Davidson 2-32, D Tamil Kumaran 2-18, S Vasanth Saravanan 1-5) by six runs.
Toss:LKK, opt to bowl
Debutants:Mohammad Ashik (LKK)
Points:Tuti Patriots 2; Lyca Kovai Kings 0
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