Tuti Patriots falter

Tuti Patriots, which had lost two matches in trot, was aware that it was up against an opponent which was yet face defeat.   -  V. Ganesan

Albert Tuti Patriots men slipped a bit towards the end to set up a total of 120 against a formidable-looking Dindigul Dragons after openers Kaushik Gandhi and skipper Abhinav Mukund provided a decent start for the team in the India Cements TN Premier League at the ICL grounds here on Sunday.

Tuti Patriots, which had lost two matches in trot, was aware that it was up against an opponent which was yet face defeat. It was determined to put up a strong show in front of its neighbouring town crowd, which had come in large numbers. Both the openers (35, 23b, 5x4, 1x6) started off quietly before the latter broke free to score runs at will. And, Tuti Patriots flourished by scoring a healthy 44 in the opening PowerPlay.

But just when the going looked good, left-arm spinner M.S. Sanjay applied the brakes by bowling a beauty that caught Kaushik by surprise. And, wicketkeeper N. Jagadeesan made no mistake by grabbing on to an easy chance that came his way.

Washington Sundar walked in next and returned to the pavilion early much to the disappointment of the crowd. But it was a stunning stumping effort by Jagadeesan and a tricky delivery by Wilkins Victor that cut short Sundar’s stay at the crease.

With two quick wickets gone, Dindigul Dragons looked pleased to have checked the run flow to some extent but S.P. Nathan played like a man in a hurry at the start even as his skipper continued to play second fiddle.

Medium pacer Sunny Singh was employed soon to pack in some pace and trouble the duo. And, he did that nicely by removing Abhinav and later Anand Subramanian. The former fell to a brilliant catch by T. Natarajan, who sprinted a good distance before diving full length to complete the formality, and the latter was trapped in front.

Nathan soon followed suit. It was Jagadeesan, who did the trick again for the team with some smart work from behind the stumps. With wickets falling at regular intervals, runs were hard to come by and Tuti Patriots, which looked to score over 150 at the start, ended up with a total which looked not so healthy on board. Sanjay (three for 18) did the bulk of the damage for Tuti Patriots.

The scores: Albert Tuti Patriots 120 for nine in 20 overs (M. Kaushik Gandhi 35, Abhinav Mukund 24, M.S. Sanjay three for 18, Sunny Singh two for 24, M. Ashwin two for 19) vs. Dindigul Dragons.