Albert Tuti Patriots, who were aided by Lakshmipathy Balaji’s five-wicket haul, beat VB Thiruvallur Veerans by six wickets in their India Cements TN Premier League match at the NPR College Ground at Natham, Dindigul, on Wednesday. Patriots have now won their second game after three losses in a row.
Brief scores: VB Thiruvallur Veerans 141 for 9 (Hari Nishaanth 59, 48b, 5x4, 2x6, L Balaji 5/18, Washington Sundar 2/21) lost to Albert Tuti Patriots 144 for 4 (Abhinav Mukund 47 not-out, 36b, 4x4, Kaushik Gandhi 43, 29b, 7x4, Jaganath Sinivas 2/24, Rahil Shah 1/26) by six wickets.
Veerans, who chose to bat first, were on the back foot right from the word go thanks to some sensational bowling by Balaji (5 for 18). Balaji sent back NS Chaturved (5) in his second over but also spilt an easy chance offered by the in-form Baba Aparajith (10). But he atoned for it by dismissing both Aparajith and R Kavin (0) off back-to-back deliveries. Patriots lost half their side with only 67 runs on board with Hari Nishaanth (59) being the sole glimmer of hope.
Come the 14th over and the momentum slowly shifted towards Patriots as Akash Sumra (0 for 23) gave away 14 runs. Nishaanth and Lakshmi Narayanan (19), who were involved in a 40-run partnership, tried their level best to rescue their team.
But, Washington Sundar (2 for 21) castled Lakshmi Narayanan as the latter went for a big hit, and Balaji, who was brought back into the attack, picked up two wickets in an over to claim the first five-wicket haul of the tournament. With all of their recognized batsmen back in the pavilion, Veerans couldn’t accelerate much in the death overs and finished at 141 for 9.
Patriots got off to a good start as they raced to 42 for no loss in the Power Play thanks to Kaushik Gandhi (43). But the run-chase suffered a jolt when the young Jaganath Sinivas (2 for 24) sent back Gandhi and U Sushil (0) off back-to-back deliveries.
Patriots’ skipper Abhinav Mukund (47 not-out) and Washington Sundar (31) kept the runs coming with some sensible batting. With 52 runs required for victory, the breakthrough came as Sundar was run-out while attempting for a second.
As the asking rate climbed post every over, Veerans tightened the screws and put pressure on Patriots. SP Nathan (10) was dismissed by Rahil Shah (1 for 26) while Anand Subramanium (11 not-out) tried to salvage the game with a crucial six. R Rohit (0 for 22) conceded 13 runs in his over which brought the equation down to 16 runs needed off the last two overs.
Patriots then knocked the runs off easily and ensured that they went home with a vital win!