TNPL 2018: Madurai Panthers win first match in three seasons
Madurai Panthers broke their 16-match losing streak when they beat Chepauk Super Gillies during their Tamil Nadu Premier League match in Tirunelveli by 26 runs on Monday. Panthers won their first game in three seasons and ended a terrible streak with stats such as picking up only 27 wickets in seven matches last season. But they did turn things around in their favour against Chepauk on Monday.
Batting first, Panthers scored 153/9 in 20 overs after Shijit Chandran and Jagatheesan Kousik chipped in with 37 each. Murugan Ashwin and Sunny Kumar Singh scalped three wickets apiece for Chepauk and as per Panthers’ former performances, many would have expected that they would continue with the losing streak. But their bowlers did turn things around and bowled out Chepauk for 127 to defend the total and win the match.
Chepauk were off to a slow start in the chase and lost wickets at regular intervals to get reduced to 82/5 in the 14th over. Kiran Akash got rid of the captain Gopinath early while Varun Chakravathi and Rahil Shah pushed them on the backfoot after sharing 6 wickets between them.
With this win, Madurai are now placed at number five in the points table with a win and two points from 2 matches. Chepauk on the other side have lost both their matches.
Madurai’s assistant coach R Sriram while talking to The New Indian Express praised Varun who returned with figures of 3/16 in 4 overs and said, ““He is a different bowler. Even our guys find it difficult to read his variations while facing him during practice. He can be our USP this season.”
Madurai’s R Karthikeyan credited the bowlers for their win.“Finding the right combination was important to win as a team,” said the left-arm spinner, who didn’t bowl on Monday. “I think this time that’s what we have done. The pair of Rahil and Varun bowled in tandem to contain. It was not easy to bat on this pitch. It was offering grip to the spinners. So we were able to get the better of the Chepauk team. But also we felt they batted slowly after 10 overs despite having wickets in hand. That’s when we started thinking that we can really win this match,” he said.