TNPL 2019: Bowlers hand Chepauk Super Gillies second title in three years

Chepauk Super Gillies made 126, batting first, thanks mainly to a fighting 44 from Sasidev. The Dindigul Dragons batsmen had a tough time facing the opposition bowlers during the chase as Periyaswamy claimed a five-wicket haul and led his side to a 12-run win.

The Chepauk Super Gillies put up a valiant effort to beat table-topper Dindigul Dragons by 12 runs in the TNPL 2019 final.   -  Twitter (@TNPremierLeague)

The face-off for the title was tinged with sadness. Even as the summit clash was in progress, news that left you shocked and numb trickled in that VB Chandrasekar, one of Tamil Nadu’s much-loved cricketing sons, had passed away. 

In the arena, the cricketers fought hard while much of the cheering crowd was unaware of the devastating news. It was a surreal setting.

READ| Former India cricketer V.B. Chandrasekhar passes away

On a night when cricket appeared a lot smaller than life, Chepauk Super Gillies notched up its second Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) title defeating Dindigul Dragons by 12 runs in a thriller at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium before a sizable audience.

The match had several twists. Super Gillies, defending 126 on a tricky pitch that offered both seam movement and spin, held its nerve.  

And G. Periyaswamy sizzled with five for 15. The slinger bowled with speed and precision, hurrying the batsmen, nailing them with reverse swing at the death.    

Indeed, he made a compelling viewing clocking speeds around 135 kmph with a quick and deceptive arm-speed.  He posed searching questions to the batsmen, struck telling blows at the start, held his nerve in the climactic stages when the game was in the balance, and emerged the Man of the Match.   

MATCH BLOG| TNPL Final 2019: Chepauk Super Gillies beats Dindigul Dragons by 12 runs to win second title

Crucially, he dismissed the in-form Dragons captain, N. Jagadeesan early, caught square off the wicket from a slash. Soon N.S. Chaturved, beaten by pace as the ball skidded off the surface, was trapped leg-before by a fired-up Periyaswamy.

And Vijay Shankar, giving little away, scalped the other in-form batsman, left-handed opener Hari Nishaanth, on the pull. The side that often thrived on strong starts was now reeling at four for three in the third over. 

Then, the Dragons fought back. Sumanth Jain (46, 47b, 3x4, 1x6), who batted capably in a pressure situation, stroked fluently and found the gaps.

M. Abhinav and the aggressive R. Vivek lent some support. However, Super Gillies kept finding wickets. Then Periyaswamy closed it out.  

Super Gillies had fought back from 19 for three to a combative 126 for eight in the first innings. The side had elected to bat.

READ| RIP V.B. Chandrasekhar: The day a TN stalwart mesmerised Rest of India

U. Sasidev (44, 33b, 1x4, 3x6), used the pace on the ball, innovated and created. The left-hander’s effort was crucial. 

Earlier, Dragons produced a moment of cricketing brilliance, conjured by getting a combination of factors right. The trick lies in the execution of a plan.

And when everything, the control and bite in the bowling and catching that is exceptional and acrobatic, comes together, we get a vignette of cricketing magic. 

J. Kaushik’s line was just outside off, the sphere landed a shade beyond the good length area, and moved away. Tentative in his footwork early on, Vijay Shankar fell for the ball, nicked it and keeper N. Jagadeesan flew to his right to pluck a brilliant one-handed low catch.

Dragons celebrated but it was Super Gillies and Periyaswamy who had the final say.