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TNPL 2017: Defending champions TUTI Patriots take on second-placed Chepauk Super Gillies in Qualifier 1

Qualifier 1 promises to be a humdinger as TUTI will take on the Gillies.


TUTI Patriots will hope to impress once again
TUTI Patriots will hope to impress once again

Unbeaten Albert TUTI Patriots will take on Chepauk Super Gillies in the clash of the titans in Qualifier 1 of the India Cements Ltd TNPL 2017 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai, on Tuesday. 

The winner of this game will march into the final, while the loser will meet the winner of Qualifier 2 for a second shot at the title clash. 

While the Patriots are yet to lose a game in the tournament, the Gillies have lost just one game in the tournament, to the former. The Patriots also lead in head to head clashes against the Gillies leading 3-0, which includes triumphs in the opening and final games last year. 

TUTI have gone from strength to strength. To be able to win all their matches, some by huge margins, and that too without their star players, will give them immense confidence going into the game. Their batting looks strong with Washington Sundar and Kaushik Gandhi at the top. The middle order, which wasn’t tested too much, came good in the last game, against Madurai Super Giant on Sunday. SP Nathan’s brutal six-hitting abilities came to the fore even as Anand Subramanian and Akash Sumra made useful contributions. And then there's U Sushil too. 

Ganesh Moorthi’s opening spells, where he is often successful, puts the opposition under pressure. Athiyasaraj Davidson and Aswin Crist also bowl economically. This makes it easier for Aushik Srinivas and Sundar, who operate in the middle overs, to apply the brakes on the scoring rate. 

TUTI have a complete team with players in every department of the game stepping up whenever needed. The only advantage Chepauk have over TUTI is that they have played more games in Chennai this year. But Tuti have shown that they can beat any side, in any conditions, and under any circumstances. 

Chepauk, meanwhile, have gotten their boxes ticked as well. The middle-order worries have reduced for the team and Antony Dhas, U Sasidev and captain R Sathish ha e done well. Gopinath and Thalaivan Sargunam have provided them with good starts. And while chasing, the middle order has come good. Also, they have managed to find one match-winner in every game. In other words, they aren’t dependant on just one person to do the job. 

Sathish leads the bowling attack and picks up early wickets. Sai Kishore and R Alexander have been great for Chepauk in the middle overs. The experience of Yo Mahesh at the death has been useful for the Gillies. Dhas has been economical as usual and gets the breakthrough when needed. The Gillies would hope to sustain the momentum and make use of the ‘home’ advantage with the crowd rooting for them.

Key battle: Washington Sundar & Kaushik Gandhi vs KH Gopinath & Thalaivan Sargunam

Both set of openers have hit the purple patch and used the powerplay overs to unleash themselves. It would be interesting to see which pair will be successful in the crucial game tomorrow. 

Head to head: Albert Tuti Patriots 3 Chepauk Super Gillies 0 (The last time the two teams met was in Tirunelveli, and TuTi beat Chepauk by 27 runs).

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