TNPL 2018: Tuti Patriots secures crucial win, ends Super Gillies' campaign

Chepauk Super Gillies, which was soundly beaten by seven wickets, has been knocked out of the third edition of TNPL.

Tuti Patriots captain, Kaushik Gandhi, provided a solid start to his team a 37-ball 45, helping Patriots chase down 168 with consummate ease.   -  M. Vedhan

In the last two seasons when Tuti Patriots and Chepauk Super Gillies played, two matches were title clashes as both the teams asserted their supremacy in the Tamil Nadu Premier League. However, on Saturday, when the teams clashed for the first time in the third season, it was a matter of survival. Chepauk, having lost all its four matches, needed a win to stay arithmetically alive while Tuti needed a win to get to the top half of the table as the tournament enters the business end.

It was, however, Jones Tuti Patriots which seized the initiative and performed when it mattered to lord over Chepauk Super Gillies by seven wickets at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium.

Battered and bruised after a horrid start to the league, Chepauk Super Gillies rode on S. Karthik's 31-ball 43 and skipper H. Gopinath’s (40 not out in 34 balls) knocks to post a respectable 167/6 in its 20 overs. It was also the team’s highest score in the league.

However, the score wasn’t enough as Tuti came all guns blazing and romped home as S. Anand (48 not out, 34 balls, 2 fours, 2 sixes), Kaushik Gandhi (45, 37 balls), Rajagopal Sathish (30, 12 balls, 4 fours, 1 six) and S. Dinesh (25, 13 balls) took the Chepauk bowlers to the cleaners.

The loss meant Chepauk Super Gillies, the defending champion, is out of the tournament.

Chepauk started on a cautious note with both Karthik and fellow opener Ganga Sridhar Raju working their way out with cautious stroke play.

With Tuti Patriots having plans in place with a tight line and length, Chepauk couldn’t do anything out of the ordinary.

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Skipper Gopinath and Karthik added 44 runs in just over four overs for the second wicket to propel the Super Gillies but Sai Kishore accounted for the in-form Karthik in the 11th over with a peach of a delivery. Sensing the batsman was using the pace of the ball, Sai Kishore got a slower one and the batsman, looking to clear the cover region, could only find the deep cover fielder.

Gopinath and Harish Kumar (27, 12 balls, 2 fours, 2 sixes) added 46 runs for the fourth wicket in just 22 balls as Chepauk breached the 150-run mark.

Gopinath and Harish weren’t flashy. They picked their spots, waited for the bad balls and threw caution to the wind when needed and the approach worked.

Chasing 168, the Tuti batsmen never looked in any discomfort as they treated the bowlers with disdain. Dinesh threatened to run away with the match in quick time as he bludgeoned the Chepauk bowlers for three sixes in the first four overs but soon fell when he top-edged Siddharth to U. Sasidev at point.

Kaushik Gandhi, Anand and Sathish then worked their way by picking up the gaps with surgical precision and made sure the foundation was enough for Tuti Patriots to go for the kill. A brief rain delay only delayed the inevitable as Tuti romped home with 2.4 overs to spare.