Five of the most memorable performances from the recently concluded Tamil Nadu Premier League 2018.
The third season of the Tamil Nadu Premier League concluded on Sunday, 12th August at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai with Madurai Panthers, who were winless for the past two years, clinching their maiden title.
The domestic T20 league serves as a great platform for the young talent from Tamil Nadu to display their talents in front of the world. This season, we witnessed lots of incredible performances in the 32 competitive matches between the eight teams.
Here are the five best performances from the third edition of the TNPL.
R Vivek 42(13) versus Karaikudi Kaalai, 30th July, Tirunelveli
Dindigul Dragons possessed two incredible hard-hitting batsmen in R Vivek and NS Chaturvedi. R Vivek, who was retained by the team for this season, batted exceptionally and ended the tournament with an unbelievable strike rate of 209.6 while scoring 262 runs which included 22 sixes.
Vivek’s best innings came against the in-form bowling line-up of Karaikudi Kaalai in a league game. The Dragons, batting first, meandered to the score of 107/3 at the end of 15 overs. At this point, Vivek activated his beast mode and smashed the Kaalai’s bowlers out of the park.
R Vivek first massacred the left-arm spin of Mohan Prasath as he blasted 32 runs (6,6,4,6,6,4) - a TNPL record - in the 16th over. The right-hander slammed another six on the first ball he faced in the next over, before he edged a short slower one to the keeper. Vivek’s hurricane knock lasted just 13 balls, where he scored 42 runs with five sixes and two boundaries.
#2 Mokit Hariharan and Francis Rokins 139-run partnership vs Dindigul Dragons, 22nd July, Dindigul
VB Kanchi Veerans this season played with a team full of youngsters and their prime motive was to provide exposure to the rising talents. They were the only team this year to give at least one match to all the 19 players in the squad.
Mokit Hariharan, age 18, shocked the world with his ambidextrous bowling against Dindigul Dragons. In the same match, he stitched an incredible 139-run unbeaten partnership for the fifth wicket with Francis Rokins which rescued the team from grave danger.
Batting first, VB Kanchi Veerans were tottering at 27/4 after the first six overs. Mokit Hariharan 77(50,5x4,5x6) and Francis Rokins 64(41,3x4,5x6) showed great temperament to bat throughout the innings and raised an unbeaten stand of 139 runs from only 85 balls to take the team from 27/4 to an imposing 166/4.
#3 Varun Chakaravarthy 13/0 versus Kovai Kings, 10th August, Dindigul
Madurai Panthers, who were defeated by Dindigul Dragons in the first qualifier, were up against the formidable side of the Kovai Kings in the second qualifier with their last opportunity to claim a spot in the final.
The 26-year old mystery spinner, Varun Chakaravarthy, had been in excellent touch and no batting attack in the tournament could boast of reading him. In the second qualifier, Varun bowled the most difficult overs and ended up with the stunning bowling figures of 4-0-13-0.
Varun bowled his first over in the Powerplay and conceded only one run. He then returned in the death overs and bowled the over number 15, 17 and 19. The spinner conceded only one boundary in these three overs and choked the opposition run-flow when it mattered the most.
Chakaravarthy continued his rich form in the Final as well where he gave only nine runs with two wickets in four overs against the tottering Dragons batting line-up. The mystery spinner ended with the most number of dot balls bowled (125) in the tournament.
#4 R Aushik Srinivas 12/3 versus Kovai Kings, 29th July, Tirunelveli
VB Kanchi Veerans had a disappointing season this year as they managed to pick up only one win and narrowly avoided the wooden spoon in the eight-team tournament. The architect of their only win was the left-arm spinner Aushik Srinivas.
Kovai Kings were chasing only 117 runs to win and with their in-form opening pair of M Shahrukh Khan and Abhinav Mukund, they were expected to surge to the victory with a few overs remaining. The 25-year old left-arm spinner started spinning the ball viciously and removed both the openers in the space of three balls in the fourth over of the innings.
Srinivas returned to bowl the 16th and 18th overs where he conceded only 10 runs, four of which came from a genuine edge and took the important wicket of well-set Ashwin Venkataramana. Srinivas was named Man of the match as Veerans won by 14 runs.
#5 KB Arun Karthik 75 not out versus Dindigul Dragons, 12th August, Chennai
The one-man batting powerhouse of Madurai Panthers owned this season with his stellar batting performances from the very first match till the spectacular finish in final. Arun Karthik ended as the highest run-getter (472 runs) of the TNPL 2018 and was also the Man of the Match in the final.
Karthik scored six half-centuries in ten matches and each including the one in final was very special. The right-handed batsman was a part of the 13-match long losing streak for Madurai franchise in the last two years and was determined to seek justice this time around.
Chasing 118 to win in the final, Madurai Panthers were reduced to 2-3 as the left-arm spinner M Silambarasan opened with a triple-wicket over. Unfazed, Karthik continued to bat with responsibility and steered the team past the winning line with an amazing knock of 75 not out from 50 balls with four fours and four sixes. He fittingly received a grand salute from his team-mates for his herculean effort.