Chepauk Super Gillies shock Dindigul Dragons by five runs to enter final|12-Aug-2019 19:04

Tirunelveli, August 11: Chepauk Super Gillies upset league toppers Dindigul Dragons with a superb display in the field to record a narrow five-run victory at the India Cements-Sankar Nagar ground here on Sunday and qualify for the final of the 4th Sankar Cement Tamil Nadu Twenty20 Premier League.

After opener Ganga Sridhar Raju (81 runs  off 54 balls, 12 fours, 2 sixes), a former DD player, had powered CSG to 169-7 in 20 overs, their bowlers and fielders gallantly defended the total to restrict DD to 164-7 in 20 overs.

The league toppers need not be completely disheartened at the defeat in Qualifier 1 as they get another opportunity to make it to the final when they take on the winner of the Eliminator between Siechem Madurai Panthers and VB Kanchi Veerans on Tuesday (August 13) in Qualifier 2 at the NPR College ground, Natham, Dindigul.

CSG will await the winner of Qualifier 2 to take them on in the final at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on Thursday (August 15).

           |Read More : "Dindigul Dragons line up against resurgent Chepauk Super Gillies in Qualifier 1"

A delighted CSG captain Kaushik Gandhi hoped to carry the happy tidings from this game into the final as well. “We are very happy that we have gone to the finals, but I think that’s what is expected out of this team. It’s one step for us, another day in the field for us. We are looking to continue to take this momentum till the final,” he said.

 DD’s best batsmen – openers C Hari Nishaanth (29 off 32 balls, 1 four, 2 sixes) and Narayan Jagadeesan (37 off 24 balls, 4 fours, 1 six) laid the platform for the chase raising 64 runs for the first wicket in 8.5 overs. But once these two were dismissed by the 10thover, DD’s innings began to wobble.

Pacer Ganeshan Periyasamy was another hero for CSG claiming crucial wickets at the finish to hurt DD and finished with his best show (4-0-27-3) in the tournament. In his last two overs, he gave away just 11 runs and claimed three wickets.

After conceding 16 runs in his first two overs, the ‘Slinger from Salem’   lined up to bowl the 17thover with the DD score at 125-3, needing another 45 runs from 24 balls.

Periyasamy made immediate impact by trapping Sumant Jain (13 off 10 balls) with a swinging yorker and two balls later, snared DD captain Ravichandran Ashwin (22 off 22 balls, 1 four), whose lofted shot over the bowler’s head was brilliantly grabbed by Senathipathy Harish Kumar who covered a lot of ground to his left to pouch it. It would have been three wickets in the over had Murugan Ashwin not spilled a skier that came off M Mohammed’s bat.

Periyasamy claimed his third wicket in his next over by dismissing Rohit Ramalingam (1)

CSG’s Uthirasamy Sasidev was a livewire in the field with his diving stops and a direct hit that dismissed dangerman Rajendran Vivek (20 off 11 balls, 1 four, 1 six) in the 13thover.

Manimaran Siddarth affected another run out to thwart DD’s last hope, NS Chaturved (14 off 6 balls), by firing in an accurate throw from square leg to catch the batsman, attempting a second run, short of the crease.

DD needed 21 runs off the last over bowled by Harish Kumar but it was too stiff a target to overcome despite Mohammed hitting two sixes off the last two balls.

Disappointed at the defeat, Nishaanth was confident they will come good in the Eliminator. “We lost wickets in patches and we would like to improve on that. It’s disappointing to lose on this pitch. But we’ll definitely bounce back in the Eliminator,” he said.

Earlier, Ganga Raju proved he is a big match player by turning the heat on favourites DD with a defiant batting display. The 23-year-old left-hander used the pace of the bowlers with neat tucks and nudges for his best score in TNPL, bettering his previous best of 66 which came in a DD shirt against Tuti Patriots in 2017. Of the 12 boundaries he struck, four fours and one six were behind the wicket.

He kept the DD attack at bay for 71 minutes and played the leading role in CSG coming up with a far better display than their earlier match against the same opponents last month. CSG could only muster 105-9 in 20 overs, in reply to DD’s 115-9 in 20 overs. He was also involved in two partnerships – 63 runs off 45 balls for the first wicket with KH Gopinath (16 off 13 balls, 1 six) and 46 runs off 26 balls for the fourth wicket with Uthiraswamy Sasidev (26 off 19 balls, 4 fours).

He was particularly severe on Ashwin and pacer Mohammed scoring 20 runs (13 balls) and 16 runs (8 balls) off them respectively.

Ganga Raju had a lean run coming into the Playoffs with scores of 0 (against Tuti Patriots), 6 (Siechem Madurai Panthers) and 27 (VB Kanchi Veerans). But the Tamil Nadu opener put that behind with a determined display, beginning with a six over fine-leg off Mohammed in the second over. He stood tall in the Powerplay taking most of the strike, hitting all the boundaries (7 fours, 1 six) and scoring 40 off CSG’s 49 runs with his opening partner KH Gopinath’s contribution being a mere 8 off 9 balls.

DD captain Ravichandran Ashwin used five bowlers to break the partnership but in vain. It was the sixth bowler, part-time off-spinner C Hari Nishaanth who got DD their first wicket in the 8thover. Nishaanth claimed Gopinath off a wide delivery with the batsman hitting it straight to the point fielder.

Kaushik Gandhi (5 off 14 balls) and Vijay Shankar (6 off 4 balls) did not last long. Gandhi holed out to deep extra cover off left-arm spinner Munnusamy Silambarasan while Vijay, who was middling the ball well during his short stay, jabbed a return catch to pacer Baaskaran Praanesh who juggled it before holding it for dear life.

The fall of  two wickets in six balls checked CSG’s progress but Ganga Raju found an able ally in Sasidev and they added some quick runs.

Although CSG lost both Ganga Raju and Sasidev in the last five overs, with the batsmen going for big hits, they still managed to add 53 runs in the last 30 balls.