N Jagadeesan won the Player of the Match award.

N Jagadeesan
N Jagadeesan. (Photo Source: TNPL)

Chennai, July 28: S Harish Kumar saved the blushes for defending champions Chepauk Super Gillies in a tense four-wicket victory over Salem Spartans in their Shriram Capital Tamil Nadu Premier League match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Wednesday.

The all-rounder hit three sixes and a four in his unbeaten 27 off 14 balls to thwart a spirited challenge from the Spartans’ marquee attack comprising fast bowler Ganeshan Periyasamy (2-28), all-rounder Vijay Shankar (1-29) and leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin (2-26). Chepauk chased down the target of 143 in 19 overs with RS Jaganath Sinivas hitting the winning boundary.

But the hard work was done by opener Narayan Jagadeesan (52 off 40 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes) and Uthirasamy Sasidev (42 off 30 balls, 2 fours, 3 sixes), whose rollicking alliance of 77 runs from 49 balls set Chepauk up for the chase.

Chepauk were looking down the barrel in the seventh over having lost four wickets for 26 runs but the right-left combination of Jagadeesan and Sasidev took the fight into the rival camp with their enterprising partnership.

Jagadeesan and Sasidev were consumed by Ashwin and Shankar giving Spartans a ray of hope but Harish Kumar stood tall to ensure Chepauk logged their first win of the season.

The 26-year-old Jagadeesan was upset that he did not stay till the end to see the side through.  “I’m very disappointed that I couldn’t finish the game because it was something I could have done but there was one mistake and I got out. At the same time I’m really happy that we crossed the line and our middle order batsmen and power hitters did the job well.”

Jagadeesan felt the win was crucial to their progress in the tournament

“It was definitely a very important win for us because looking at the table there have been a lot of upsets, results which people did not expect. If we had lost this game we would’ve been under the pump and the rest of the games would have been must win games for us. So it was very important for us to win this one,” he said.

Earlier, the Spartans innings came to life in spurts before finishing at a fighting 142-7 in 20 overs. Opener KH Gopinath set the tone with a fluent 33 off 24 balls (5 fours) but once he was claimed by the indefatigable Rajagopal Sathish, the Spartans innings fell into a stupor. For more than seven overs, no boundaries were scored with Sathish (1-18) and left-arm spinner Manimaran Siddharth (1-22) keeping a tight leash on the proceedings.

It was left to captain Daryl Ferrario (39 off 22 balls, 1 four, 3 sixes) and the experienced Vijay Shankar (32 off 28 balls, 3 fours, 1 six) to break the shackles. Ferrario took the lead by tonking Siddharth for a six and Shankar followed suit in the same over. Their fifth-wicket alliance of 56 runs from 34 balls infused some life into the Spartans innings, which read a slow 62-2 at the halfway stage.

But once Shankar holed out in the deep trying to get some quick runs, the innings struggled for a strong finish. All-rounder Sonu Yadav was the best bowler for Chepauk claiming 3 for 21 from his four overs.

Spartans’ captain Ferrario felt the catch of Jagadeesan he spilled diving full length off Periyasamy in the 6th over when the batsman was on 13 was one of the reasons for the defeat. “We did not bat too well after the power play, losing two wickets cut down our momentum. We fought well while fielding, but that dropped catch was crucial,” he said, “it was a good fight.”

Brief scores: Salem Spartans 142-7 in 20 overs (Daryl S Ferrario 39, K.H Gopinath 33, Vijay Shankar 32; Sonu Yadav 3-21, Harish Kumar 2-39, Sathish 1-18, M Siddharth 1-22) lost to Chepauk Super Gillies 145-6 in 18.5 overs   (N Jagadeesan 52, Sasidev 42, Harish Kumar 27*; G Periyasamy 2-28, M Ashwin 2-26, Vijay Shankar 1-29, M Ganesh Moorthi 1-27) by 4 wickets.


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