Syed Mushtaq Ali T20: Spinners Sai Kishore, Siddharth set up narrow win for TN

Left-arm orthodox spinners R. Sai Kishore and M. Siddharth shared combined figures of six for 19 to set up a four-wicket win for Tamil Nadu against Punjab.

Tamil Nadu's M. Siddharth (in picture) took three wickets for nine runs to help restrict Punjab to 94.   -  K. Pichumani

On a wicket that had a lot of help for spinners, batsmen from Tamil Nadu and Punjab were all at sea, but eventually the former huffed and puffed to a four-wicket win in the Super League match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Monday.

Tamil Nadu won a crucial toss and its decision to field first paid rich dividends with left-arm spinners R. Sai Kishore (3/10) and M. Siddharth (3/9) spinning a web around the Punjab batsmen picking five-wickets in the first five overs. The duo continued the good efforts from their previous match against Mumbai as TN restricted Punjab to just 94/8 in 20 overs.

In reply, TN was made to sweat out for the win taking 19.3 overs to chase down the paltry total for the loss of six wickets. TN made a heavy mess of the chase as it was reduced to 48-4 in the ninth over. Washington Sundar (45 n.o.,44b, 1x4, 1x6) and Vijay Shankar (20, 33b, 1x4) then came together for a 44-run crucial fifth-wicket stand and bailed the team out.

MATCH BLOG

The duo played sensibly in dealing with the turn the spinners were getting and avoided any risky shots and had just one boundary in their partnership. They took full advantage of the spread-out field and ran hard picking a lot of twos.

However, with just about five runs needed in the last two overs, the team showed poor game awareness losing two quick wickets when Vijay Shankar and M. Mohammed perished going for glory shots before Washington fittingly hit the winning runs with a boundary.

Earlier, Sai Kishore struck in the first over of the match when he trapped left-handed Abhishek Sharma leg-before with a tossed up delivery that spun into the batsmen. Siddharth struck in the other end when he had Mandeep Singh bowled with a quicker one after setting him up with a couple of flighted deliveries.

Siddharth then got Anmolpreet Singh too with an arm ball before Sai Kishore accounted for Shubhman Gill and Karan Kaila off successive deliveries. The two bowlers made full use of the conditions and bowled at the right pace and never gave a single lose delivery.

Aparajith chipped in with two wickets while for Punjab Mayank Markande’s 26-ball 33 and Gurkeerat Singh’s 25 helped them get to 94.