Albert TUTI Patriots were crowned champions of the inaugural edition of theTNPL after they beat Chepauk Super Gilles by 122 runs in the final at Chennai, on Sunday. Patriots, who were ruthless with both bat and ball, gave the crowd its money’s worth and showcased an absolute all-round spectacle.
Brief scores: Albert TUTI Patriots 215/3 in 20 overs (Abhinav Mukund 82 not out, 52b, 12x4, 1x6, Kaushik Gandhi 59, 43b, 6x4, 2x6, Dinesh Karthik 55, 26b, 5x4,4x6; Sai Kishore 1/35) beat Chepauk Super Gillies 93 all out in 18.5 overs (Vasanth Saravanan 30, 33b, 4x4; Ganesh Moorthi 4/11, L Balaji 2/8) by 122 runs
The final had an electric atmosphere to it as Patriots scored a huge 215 for 2 after batting first. The highlight was that phenomenal opening over from left-arm spinner Ganesh Moorthi which had him bowling a four-wicket maiden – including a hat-trick, the second of the tournament.
Gillies had no clue as they were comprehensively outclassed in every department. Patriots put on a batting master-class as half-centuries from Kaushik Gandhi (59), Abhinav Mukund (82 not-out) and Dinesh Karthik (55) took the game away from Gillies. It was Patriots all the way right from the word go as they won the toss and elected to bat first. Openers Gandhi and Mukund made the most of the occasion and were a delight to watch as they timed the ball sweetly and found gaps with absolute precision and power.
Gillies’ bowling was carted to all parts of the park by the duo as Patriots crossed the 100-run mark in just 11.1 overs. The pair put on the fourth century opening partnership of the tournament - scoring 132 runs of 84 balls. Gandhi scored his third fifty of the tournament and finished as the second-highest run-getter with 366. Sai Kishore eventually ended that partnership when he dismissed Gandhi, but Mukund and Karthik continued the onslaught.
Gillies’ fate was made even worse when Aswath Mukunthan gave Mukund (then on 76) a life-line – dropping a simple return catch. Even Karthik got a reprieve when he was on 42 – a chance which he fully capitalized on. Gillies seemed to have already lost the game before the run-chase as the pressure probably got to them.
And their worst fears came true when they were bamboozled by Moorthi (4 for 11) - the scorecard reading 0/4 at the end of the first over. Moorthi’s first wicket was that of Thalaivan Sarguman (0), off the second ball, as the latter played a lofted drive which was spectacularly caught at deep-cover by Anand Subramanian. Next up was KH Gopinath (0) as he fell at point for a duck. Gillies captain R Satish (0) was adjudged leg-before off the next delivery post which U Sasidev – the hat-trick wicket - poked vainly and was caught at first-slip by L Balaji.
Five wickets were lost in the power-play and Gillies never recovered from those early blows. The only batsman to offer some resistance was Vasanath Saravanan (30) as he tried to salvage the game for Gillies. But his innings was later cut short as L Balaji clean-bowled him and almost sealed the match for Patriots. Gilles were bowled out for a mere 93 – thus ending a night of despair.
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