Chennai Singams soar above the Tigers of Kolkata

R Thavith Kumar (4-13), Bablu Patil (23*) among the star in Chennai’s win

New Delhi, 8th March 2024: Chennai Singams opened their Indian Street Premier League (ISPL) T10 campaign with an eight-run victory over Tigers of Kolkata at the Dadoji Kondadev Stadium, here on Thursday. Chennai won the tip-top toss and put up 121-5 on board in 10 overs and then restricted Kolkata to 113-8 in a nail-biting finish.

Kolkata started the chase brightly with Fardin Kazi (21, 9b 2x4s, 2x6s) and Jonty Sarkar (23, 17b, 1×4, 3x6s) putting up a 50 by the end of the third over.

Thavith shines

However, R. Thavith Kumar (4-13 in 2 overs) – the Tamil Nadu swinger playing for his home franchise with co-owner Suriya keeping a close watch from the dugout – changed the course of the game. Bowling the fourth over by ‘tape-ball’, Thavith was literally unplayable, castling an on-song Jonty to put brakes on the chase.

One of the unique aspects of the ISPL is the 50-50 challenge. A batting team sets themselves a target of a minimum of 16 runs and chooses who should bowl from the opposition team. If the batting team achieves or exceeds the target, 50 per cent more runs are added to the total. For example, if a team scores 20 runs, they will get 30 runs for that over and if they score 10 runs, they will get only five runs for that over.

And the 50-50 challenge sealed the deal for the Singams. Thavith was again the star as bowling the 50-50 challenge in the sixth over, Thavith dismissed Munna Shaikh (2), Bhavesh Pawar (2) and Rajat Mundhe (0), conceding only nine runs. As a result, Kolkata ended up with only five runs from that over.

Earlier, Chennai chose the seventh over of their innings as the 50-50 challenge. Chennai needed two runs off the last ball to complete the challenge with in-form Sagar Ali on strike. But the batters could only take a single, resulting in Chennai Singams losing seven runs.

Shifting momentum

The game saw momentum swinging from one side to the other. The seventh over of the chase yielded 29 runs with skipper Prathamesh Pawar (42, 22b, 5×6, 1×9) smashing Farman Khan all over the park and Kolkata needed 25 off 18.

However, all-rounder Vishwanath Jadhav (2-9 off 2) swung the game back in Chennai’s favour with his medium-pace and he removed Pradeep Patil in the eighth over. Bowling the final over of the game, Jadhav found the edge of Prathamesh Pawar’s bat on the third ball and sealed the game for his side.

Earlier, Sagar Ali’s 34 (17b, 3×6) and Bablu Patil’s 23* (8b, 1×4, 3×6) helped Chennai put up a formidable target on the board. Chennai skipper Sumeet Dhekale (11, 9b, 1×6) and Ketan Mhatre (16, 7b, 2x4s, 1×6) gave their side a brisk start, and other batters managed to keep the momentum going with the final flourish coming off Patil’s bat.

Bhavesh Pawar (2-16) was the pick of the bowlers for the Tigers of Kolkata.

Brief scores: Chennai Singams: 121-5 in 10 overs (Sagar Ali 34, Bablu Patil 23*, Bhavesh Pawar 2-16) bt Tigers of Kolkata: 113-8 in 10 (Prathamesh Pawar 42, Jonty Sarkar 23; R Thavith Kumar 4-13) by eight runs.

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