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Kaalai prevails in a close encounter

Karaikudi Kaalai finally prevailed in a close encounter to score its first win — an eight-run defeat of Albert Tuti Patriots — of the Tamil Nadu Premier League here on Saturday.

IN FULL FLOW: S. Badrinath held the Karaikudi Kaalai innings together with a top-score of 49 even as wickets fell around him. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Chasing 112 for win, Patriots made heavy weather of a modest chase after a good start. Patriots were cruising at 55 for two at the end of the 10th over with opener Kaushik Gandhi and Anand Subramanian having got their eye in.

But off the first ball of the 11th over, Gandhi chased a wide delivery from medium pacer R. Rajkumar and got caught at point.

This allowed the Kaalai’s to get back in the game as they picked up four wickets in the next five overs for just 28 runs.

Pacer Ganapathy Chandrasekar was the pick of the bowlers for Kaalai with figures of three for 23 to back up his cameo with the bat of 28 from 17 balls that helped his side post a competitive total.

Earlier, disciplined bowling from the Patriots restricted Kaalai to just 111 for eight. Kaalai openers M. Vijay Kumar and S. Anirudha fell in the end of the second and third overs respectively playing expansive drives through the offside.

Once again skipper S. Badrinath waged a lone battle to keep the score moving without taking much risk for his 46-ball 49. By the end of PowerPlay, Kaalai could manage only 19 for the loss of two wickets, the lowest so far in the tournament.

In the eighth over, bowled by Aswin Crist, Vishal Vaidya pulled a short delivery that was stopped by a diving Anand Subramaniam at short mid-wicket. The frustration got to the batsmen who followed it next ball with a wild swing and a delivery later was dismissed when he tried to clear the mid-off fielder with L. Balaji taking a brilliant one-handed catch running backwards.

The scores: Karaikudi Kaalai 111 for eight in 20 overs (S. Badrinath 49, Ganapathy Chandrasekar 28, Aswin Crist three for 28, Washington Sundar two for 11) bt Albert Tuti Patriots 103 for nine in 20 overs (Kaushik Gandhi 27, Ganapathy three for 23, R. Rajkumar two for 17).