There’s a lot that’s right about R. Sai Kishore’s spin bowling. He’s a left-armer with the right attributes.
Sai runs in well, pivots and gets the weight of his body behind the ball. Importantly, he imparts revolutions on the sphere.
The tall Sai’s high-arm action means he extracts the maximum out of his height. Indeed, there was turn and bounce for him at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday.
And on occasions, when the batsmen played for spin, they had to contend with the arm ball. Sai’s fine exhibition of left-arm spin was the highlight of Chepauk Super Gillies’ 17-run victory over Lyca Kovai Kings before a crowd of 19,000 in the second semifinal of the India Cements-TNPL Twenty20 tournament.
Super Gillies will take on Albert Tuti Patriots in the final here on Sunday.
Sai consumed R. Rohith on the sweep and then took out key man Syed Mohammad who miscued a cut. When a team chases 162, a spell of two for 17 in four overs is a game-changing effort.
The experienced Vasanth Saravanan (52, 39b, 4×4, 2×6), a sweet timer of the ball, was the other hero for the side.
Super Gillies took wickets when it mattered. Skipper R. Sathish seamed one across the in-form B. Anirudh (23) luring the batsman to nick.
And left-arm spinner R. Alexander, he operates from a quick-arm action, dismissed a well-set L. Suryapprakash (38, 28b, 2×4, 1×6) with a change in length.
When pressure built towards the end, paceman V. Yo Mahesh bowled a terrific penultimate over, firing in full-length deliveries outside off from round the wicket.
Earlier, K.H. Gopinath, his footwork dictated by the length of the delivery, impressed for the host after it elected to bat. He is a busy batsman, whether launching into his strokes or working the ball around. The 28-year-old batsman tore into paceman M. Mohammed in the second over, cutting, lofting over the bowler’s head and pulling with panache. The 76-run third-wicket partnership off 58 deliveries between Gopinath (44, 33b, 5×4, 1×6) and Saravanan, who was adjudged Man-of-the-Match, rebuilt the innings after Thalaivan Sargunam and Gowjith Subash were prised out early.
Saravanan is extremely fit for a 37-year-old. He is also a clever batsman, who works the angles.
He sashayed down the track and eased off-spinner B. Arun straight and long. Saravanan’s lofted cover-drive off seamer Sivakumar also caught the eye.
There were useful runs in the end from skipper R. Sathish (18), who sent the ball soaring over long-on and mid-wicket, and an aggressive U. Sasidev (16).
The scores: Chepauk Super Gillies 161 for seven in 20 overs (K.H. Gopinath 44, Vasanth Saravanan 52) bt Lyca Super Kings 144 for nine in 20 overs (L. Suryapprakash 38, A. Srinivasan 27).