There was talk at the start of the match that young all-rounder Washington Sundar’s absence due to injury may hurt the chances of Jones Tuti Patriots. It did not in any way, as Patriots found another man in M. Kaushik Gandhi.
The 28-year-old skipper from Chennai hammered a brilliant unbeaten 111 that was solid enough to see the new-look team get past VB Kanchi Veerans by 48 runs in the Sankar Cement TNPL at the ICL Sankar Nagar grounds here on Sunday.
Kaushik was obviously delighted having scored his maiden TNPL ton.
He paddle-swept medium-pacer R. Silamabarasan to the fine-leg fence when on 97 and quickly turned towards his mates in joy.
The celebration said it all, and the crowd acknowledged his effort with a good round of applause.
It was an innings of great character and class, and his stroke-filled knock came off just 68 balls and contained 13 hits to the fence and three over it.
The young man’s previous best was an 86 at MAC in Chennai last year.
Kaushik, on his way to the century, also stitched two vital 50-run stands with S. Dinesh and later with Anand Subramaniam (37, 27b, 2×4, 1×6) that saw the team post 191.
Chasing a rather stiff target, Veerans lost opener S. Siddharth early. Vishal Vaidhya (33) and B. Aparajith (29) showed signs of fighting back with a 56-run stand for the second wicket but off-break bowler Malolan Rangarajan and paceman Athisayaraj Davidson applied the brakes with double picks that came at the right time to seal Veerans’ fate.
Leg-spinner M.P. Rajesh (three for 22) and skipper Abhinav Mukund (59, 44b, 8×4) showed their class, but Lyca Kovai Kings had to huff and puff before pulling off a thrilling win in the Super Over against IDream Karaikudi Kaalai in the day’s second clash.
Earlier, S. Anirudha (27), V. Aaditya (36) and Maan K. Bafna (44), the top-order batsmen, chipped in with useful runs as the Karaikudi side made 162 for seven.
It was not a big total to chase for Kovai Kings which had a classy player like Abhinav. But his departure midway, and that of Ashwin Venkataraman (34), spelt trouble for the team.
In the Super Over, Kovai Kings made 14 for one and Karaikudi Kaalai could only manage nine runs though it did not lose a wicket.
Jones Tuti Patriots 191 for three in 20 overs (Kaushik Gandhi 111 n.o., Anand Subramaniam 37) bt VB Kanchi Veerans 143 for nine in 20 overs (K. Vishal Vaidhya 33, B. Aparajith 29, Subramanian Siva 33, Malolan Rangarajan two for 31, A. Davidson two for 32, Akash Sumra two for 23).
IDream Karaikudi Kaalai 162 for seven in 20 overs (S. Anirudha 27, V. Aaditya 36, Maan K. Bafna 44, M.P. Rajesh three for 22, Antony Dhas two for 47) tied with Lyca Kovai Kings 162 for six in 20 overs (Abhinav Mukund 59, Shahrukh Khan 32, Ashwin Venkataraman 34, Yo Mahesh two for 30).
: Kovai Kings 14 for one bt Karaikudi Kaalai nine for no loss.
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