Lyca Kovai Kings will miss the services of Vijay

Much will be at stake when Chepauk Super Gillies and Lyca Kovai Kings face off in the second semifinal of the India Cements-TNPL league at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday.

Lyca Kovai Kings will be without Murali Vijay for the semi-final against Chepauk Super Gillies.   -  Joothi Ramalingam

Twenty20 games can swing on very little — a single dot ball or a scampered single.

More so in the knockout phase where teams do not carry the baggage of the league stages. It is form on the day that matters. The side that handles pressure situations better and wins the key moments will emerge victorious.

Much will be at stake when Chepauk Super Gillies and Lyca Kovai Kings face off in the second semifinal of the India Cements-TNPL league at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday.

One man who could have influenced the course of the proceedings will be unavailable for the last-four duel. Lyca’s M. Vijay will not play the game as he is busy preparing for the first India-New Zealand Test beginning on September 22 at Kanpur.

Super Gillies has the momentum. After all, the side topped the league table. It’s an outfit of multidimensional cricketers and depth.

In skipper R. Sathish — an explosive batsman and a canny medium-pacer — the side has a cricketer suited for the big games. Impact players will be precious.

Sathish has a plaster over his left palm — “It’s only a sprain,” he said — and is confident of taking the field.

Super Gillies has a blend of experience and youth. In old soldier Vasanth Saravanan and the aggressive Thalaivan Sargunam, the side has batsmen who can handle stress. And the younger K.H. Gopinath, a fluent shot-maker, has been among the runs at the top of the order with Sargunam.

The side has a well-rounded attack too. Antony Dhas, with his toe crushers and change of pace, has demanded attention.

Veteran D. Tamilkumaran has also been effective with his skiddy ways and the lanky V. Yo Mahesh can strike on his day. The young Ashwath Mukunthan is a seamer with promise.

In left-armers Sai Kishore — he possesses an effective arm ball — and the disciplined R. Alexander, Super Gillies has spinners who can turn matches.

For Lyca, L. Suryapprakash and B. Anirudh, a left-right combination of promise, has fired the team to rousing starts.

But the middle-order has been a problem area for the side. Much depends on the ability of its skipper and left-handed all-rounder J. Syed Mohammed.

The side has a good pace attack though with M. Mohammad, S. Harish Kumar and M.K. Siva Kumar, all among the wickets.

Super Gillies have the edge but then you never quite know in these games.