Adithya ended the tension with a massive six off Siddharth over deep midwicket to spark wild celebrations in the Trichy dugout.

Adithya Ganesh
Adithya Ganesh. (Photo by: Sandeep Shetty/Focus Sports/ TNPL)

Chennai, August 10: Ruby Trichy Warriors’ best batsmen Nidhish Rajagopal and Adithya Ganesh joined hands once again to script a stunning five-wicket victory over defending champions Chepauk Super Gillies and helped the side enter the final of the Shriram Capital Tamil Nadu Premier League.

The Qualifier 1 was a rerun of the last league match when Trichy chased down Chepauk’s total to top the league standings. At the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday, Trichy went a step better by overcoming a stiff target of 154 with Nidhish (55 off 45 balls, 2 fours, 3 sixes) and Adithya (66 not out off 45 balls, 5 fours, 2 sixes) leading the charge. Trichy finished on 157-5 in 19.5 overs to extend their fairytale run in the tournament.

The left-handed duo came together with the side struggling at 44-3 after 5 overs and they not only steered the side out of trouble but put them on the path to victory with a 93-run partnership off 76 balls.

I am experienced enough to do this role: Adithya

The victory did not come easy as Chepauk’s most experienced spinners Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore and Manimaran Siddharth (2-23) made life difficult for the Trichy batsmen in the final two overs. But Adithya ended the tension with a massive six off Siddharth over deep midwicket to spark wild celebrations in the Trichy dugout.

It was apt that the 30-year-old Adithya finished the game in style as he has been with the franchise from the start. He revealed later that he backed himself to come up with that big hit with three needed off the last two balls.

“I think I am experienced enough to do this role, I have to play the 20 overs. We have a lot of youngsters so I had to take it till the end. I was confident enough to hit the ball out of the ground, so I backed myself and I’m really happy it came out well,” he said, adding, “this win is really really special, we have been through a lot of lows through the years.”

Trichy began their innings in a whirlwind fashion collecting 24 runs in the second over bowled by Rahul Dev. The pacer erred in line and length and paid a heavy price with Nidhish smashing a four and two sixes after opener Santosh Shiv (5) had hit the first ball for a four before getting out in the same over.

Although Chepauk hit back by claiming two wickets, they could not get past Nidhish and Adithya, who returned to haunt them again following their 76-run partnership in Trichy’s seven-wicket win last Sunday.

Chepauk captain admitted Rahul’s over set them back but at the same time hailed the efforts of Nidhish and Adithya. “I think our powerplay bowling went wrong and part of our batting at the start wasn’t great as well. They planned their chase very well. Even after being three down in the Powerplay, both left-handers carried the ship steadily, took the game till the end and they held their nerves better,“ he said.

All is not lost for Chepauk, who will get a second shot to enter the final when they take on the winners of Wednesday’s Eliminator (Dindigul Dragons v Lyca Kovai Kings) on Friday.

Earlier, Chepauk rode on the young shoulders of Sunderaraman Radhakrishnan to post a competitive total. The 22-year-old Radhakrishnan came good for the second match in succession by striking an unbeaten 82 off 54 balls (7 fours, 3 sixes) to lift Chepauk to 153-3 in 20 overs. Just two days ago, he scored a tenacious 55 against the same opposition in his second TNPL match and he carried that confidence and form into this game.

Chepauk were in a spot of bother after losing two of their top batsmen – Gandhi (1) and Narayan Jagadeesan (14 off 13 balls, 2 fours) – back in the pavilion for 23 runs in the third over. But Radhakrishnan began rebuilding the innings with Uthirasamy Sasidev (23 of 29 balls, 1 six) by raising 66 runs off 57 balls for the third wicket with his contribution being 42 off 28 balls.

The Coimbatore lad found another able ally in veteran Rajagopal Sathish (29 not out off 22 balls, (4 fours), after the departure of Sasidev, and together they added 64 runs off 44 balls for the fourth wicket.

Trichy, who had won the toss and decided to bowl first, did not have much to shout about. Pacer P Saravana Kumar (2-32) and left-arm spinner M Mathivanan (1-26) were the only bowlers to be among the wickets.

 CSK gesture for former TN cricketers

India’s much-loved sports team, Chennai Super Kings joined Tamil Nadu Cricket Association to reward former cricketers who played for Tamil Nadu at a special function on Tuesday.

Over the past 85 years, Tamil Nadu has produced a lot of cricketers who have built the foundation for the thriving sport as we see it today. As it is well known, cricketers in the early 50s and 60s did not get much monetary benefit playing the game that we all love so much.

In recognition and appreciation of their immense contribution towards the game, TNCA had instituted a one-time payment of Rs. 5 lakh to cricketers, groundsmen, match officials and others who helped build our sport.

Welcoming this initiative, CSK have come forward to show their love and respect to these veterans and will be contributing Rs. 7 Lakhs each to the veteran cricketers – the number synonymous with our much-loved captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Former International Cricket Council (ICC), Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and TNCA president N Srinivasan, who presented the cheques to the former players and officials, welcomed the gesture. “This is an outstanding occasion for me because we are honouring stalwarts of Tamil Nadu and I think they have contributed more to Tamil Nadu than what we are doing today. It’s a privilege to be in their presence,” he said.

The beneficiaries were former wicketkeeper-batsman K R Rajagopal, all-rounders Najam Hussain and R Prabhakar, leg spinner SVS Mani and former curator K Parthasarthy.

Brief scores

Chepauk Super Gillies 153-3 in 20 overs (S Radhakrishnan 82*, R Sathish 29*, U Sasidev 23; P Saravana Kumar 2-32, M Mathivanan 1-26) lost to Ruby Trichy Warriors 157-5 in 19.5 overs (Adithya Ganesh 66*, Nidhish Rajagopal 55; M Siddharth 2-23, R Sathish 1-19, Rahul D 1-24) by 5 wickets.


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