TNPL 2019: Raju, Gopinath shine as Super Gillies hammer Karaikudi Kaalai

Chepauk Super Gillies had a relatively easy outing as it beat iDream Karaikudi Kaalai by 54 runs in a TNPL league match on Friday.

Ganga Sridhar Raju plays a shot en route to his half-century.   -  A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN

Openers Ganga Sridhar Raju (54, 6x4, 2x6) and K.H. Gopinath (55, 40b, 4x4, 2x6) belted a solid 108-run stand for the first wicket as Chepauk Super Gillies fashioned a 54-run win over iDream Karaikudi Kaalai in a TNPL league match at the ICL grounds on Friday.

Pacer Sunil Sam bowled a good first over for Kaalai but, from there on, it was a sorry story. Gopinath, who was twice (0 & 23) dropped by M. Shajahan and substitute Kishan Kumar respectively, along with Raju showed no mercy on both the pacemen and spinners.

The duo peppered the ball to all parts of the ground to help the team post 49 in the PowerPlay. Incidentally, it was the best for the Gillies this season.

In fact, everything turned out to be the best for the team and the other way round for Kaalai. The bowlers were generous in gifting away runs, quite a few through extras, while the fielders were sloppy from the start.

And that gave more room for the Gillies’ openers to further up the scoring rate. They firmly hit down the ground and soon brought up the century partnership in just 65 balls.

After adding eight more to the score, Raju stepped out for the big one to left-arm spinner Maan K. Bafna and misread the line only to be stumped by keeper Kavin.

Three overs later, Gopinath fell trying to loft medium pacer R. Rajkumar. But, this time around, he was not lucky as Aaditya ran quite a distance from mid-on to take a stunner of a catch.

Kaushik Gandhi (32, 21b, 4x4, 1x6) chipped in a bit as well but Sam and spinner Mohan Prasath struck at regular intervals to restrict Gillies to 175 for eight.

It was rather a heavy target for Kaalai as the Gillies had a brilliant bowling attack with the likes of slinger G. Periyasamy and last match hero in left-arm spinner R. Alexandar.

And, it reflected quite early with the former sending openers V. Aaditya and S. Anirudha back to the hut in quick time.

Two smart run-outs inside the PowerPlay overs further added to Kaalai’s agony. Shajahan took the aerial route but soon departed and, with the run-rate climbing to a high after every over it was an arduous task from there.

The scores:

Chepauk Super Gillies 175 for eight in 20 overs (Ganga Sridhar Raju 54, K.H. Gopinath 55, Kaushik Gandhi 32, Sunil Sam two for 25, R. Rajkumar two for 39, Mohan Prasath two for 33) beat iDeam Karaikudi Kaalai 121 for eight in 20 overs (M. Shajahan 27, G. Periyaswamy two for 9).