TNPL: Patriots holds the cards in a repeat final against Gillies

For the Chepauk Super Gillies, the side has been perpetually unable to beat Tuti Patriots. Super Gillies’ only loss in the group stage came against the Patriots and even in the first playoff, the R. Sathish-led side faltered.

Washington Sundar of Albert Tuti Patriots tormented the Gillies in the first playoff at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium.   -  Special Arrangement

The second season of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) is coming to a close. What was seen by many as a step to keep the cricket lovers in the state engaged in the sport, during the absence of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the TNPL has undoubtedly been one of the most successful state-based T20 franchise league across India.

The TNPL has promoted the sport across Tamil Nadu and has garnered enough followers for when CSK returns to the Indian Premier League (IPL), from different corners of the state.

However, when it comes to the cricket, the second season of the TNPL has ended up with similar teams from the inaugural edition, eyeing for the title.

In the first season, Albert Tuti Patriots and Chepauk Super Gillies defeated Dindigul Dragons and Lyca Kovai Kings, respectively, to enter the final. Eventually, Patriots went on to win the title in a comfortable manner.

This year, with the format being changed to the IPL-style playoffs, Patriots defeated Chepauk Super Gillies to enter the final. The Super Gillies defeated Lyca Kovai Kings in the second playoff, like last year’s second semifinal, to set-up yet another rematch.

Yet to break the duck

Will Chepauk Super Gillies be able to finally defeat the Albert Tuti Patriots?

The Tuti Patriots, led by Dinesh Karthik, has remained unbeaten throughout the tournament. The side has completely dominated its opponents, with the likes of Washington Sundar, Kaushik Gandhi and V. Athisayaraj Davidson providing strong performances for the side.

“There is a lot of pressure going into the final. As it is there is enough pressure, I don’t think we should think about those things (being unbeaten in the tournament),” said Karthik.

Speaking about his side’s form, Karthik believes that the Tuti Patriots have had few close matches and it has not been easy for the side.

“It has not been as easy a tournament for us as people say. We have been through some tough situations. The good thing is we have come out victorious.”

For the Chepauk Super Gillies, the side has been perpetually unable to beat Tuti Patriots. Super Gillies’ only loss in the group stage came against the Patriots and even in the first playoff, the R. Sathish-led side faltered.

There is no shortage of stars in the Chepauk side – R. Sai Kishore being the top wicket-taker, one more than Washington Sundar, this season. H. Gopinath and X. Thalaivan Sargunam have provided support with their bats.

On being beaten continuously by Tuti Patriots, Sathish said, “We are pretty confident that we are going to play some good cricket. We are not taking those three losses into our mind.”

Karthik praised TNPL’s success. “We have set a certain standard in terms of it has been organised. Credit to TNCA, they have left no stone unturned.”

The Tuti Patriots’ skipper while praised the improved batting and bowling performances of cricketers in the ongoing season, Karthik felt that the fielding needs to improve for all the teams.

“What has come out ordinary is the fielding. I think all the teams will stand and say that we have had some really ordinary fielding performances.”

Camera for monitoring no-ball

Karthik suggested that the TNPL can come with out-of-the-box ideas which other tournaments around the world can pick up from.

“This tournament has the potential to do things where other tournaments can pick up from. In Big Bash, they used the zing bails, which later on became popular and was used in other tournaments. Like that, we can do things from which others leagues can pick up,” said the Tamil Nadu batsman.

“One can be the no-ball thing which can be monitored by a camera on top – like the spider cam. I don’t know the technicality. If the spider cam can pick up the no-ball from the top, you can remove the umpire’s role in regards to the no-ball, like in tennis and goal-line technology in football.”