TNPL 2nd week Round Up - Mid Table scramble brewing
As the league is picking up, matches are getting tighter and more gripping. The beauty of the tournament is that it is difficult to predict the winner of any game as every team boasts of talented and talismanic individuals.
While Dindigul Dragons are having a good run and are at the top spot with three wins out of four matches, they have an advantage of playing an extra match than all but one team. As many as five teams find themselves with four points after two victories. While Lyca Kovai Kings have played four matches, other four teams – Karaikudi Kaalai, Tuti Patriots, Madurai Panthers and Ruby Trichy Warriors – have played three matches each.
This has created a very interesting situation quite early on in the tournament. These five teams will now struggle against each other to go one up. On the other hand, VB Kanchi Veerans and Chepauk Super Gillies have not had great outings. They are yet to win a game and have lost all three of their matches.
The culture, history in regional Tamil Nadu truly eye opening, it was a pleasure to be exposed to it, your hospitality was amazing, I am very lucky to have had such an opportunity. Good luck for the rest of the @TNPremierLeague https://t.co/1wuF4PWSwX https://t.co/1wuF4PWSwX— Brad Hogg (@Brad_Hogg) July 24, 2018
On account of comprehensive losses, Chepauk Super Gillies are currently at the bottom of the table with a net run rate of -1.733.
Shahrukh Khan from Lyca Kovai Kings has been the most successful batsman in the tournament till now, piling up 208 runs in four matches at a healthy average of 52 and strike rate of over 150. His 86-run knock against Dindigul Dragons though in a losing cause was a great spectacle of T20 batting.
N Jagdeesan from Dindigul Dragons is at the second spot with 183 runs in four games. Jagdeesan has not thrown his wicket away easily. This is the reason why he sports a behemoth average of over 90. However, his strike rate of around 135 is a bit on the lower side given the standards that have been set in contemporary T20 cricket.
Kaushik Gandhi, on the back of an unbeaten 111-knock, is still at the fourth spot on the list of highest scoring batsman. All the same, he has got great returns in the other two matches but still commands an average of 82.5 and a strike rate of over 160.
S Anirudha and Suresh Kumar from idream Karaikudi Kaalai and Ruby Trichy Warriors respectively are the other batsmen who have set the TNPL on fire.
Along with leading the batting chart, Lyca Kovai Kings have also established their authority in bowling. Kings’ MP Rajesh has picked up seven wickets in four matches at an astonishing average of 15.5 to be the number one bowler in the league. While he has gone for a few runs with an economy of almost 8, his strike rate of 11.7 has been quite impressive.
Athisayaraj Davidson from Tuti Patriots has also taken seven wickets in only three matches. He has an average of under 15 but an economy rate over eight.
Ravi Ashwin, who has one foot set in the TNPL and the other in England, has bagged six wickets from three games. Ashwin will be part of a warm up match that the Indian team will play against Essex, starting from the 25th of July to kick off things for the five-match Test series against England.
Recently, there have also been reports that Worcestershire have re-signed Ashwin for the last two Championship games. These will be played after the conclusion of the Test series. Ganpati Chandrashekhar and Akash Sumra have also picked 5 wickets from three matches each.
What else is brewing?
Mohit Hariharan has become the second Indian ambidextrous bowler. He surprised one and all in the TNPL with his unbelievable ability of switching hands in his bowling run-up.
Hariharan cherishes the ability to bowl with both hands as it gives him an opportunity to create different angles and make life difficult for the batsmen. Hariharan is a handy batsman as well and scored an unbeaten 77 for VB Kanchi Veerans against Dindigul Dragons.
After serving his duties for India A, all-rounder Vijay Shankar is now back to India and would take part in the tournament. He would begin his stint with Chepauk Super Gillies who had bagged him in the auctions.
Because of being occupied with the India A side on the tour of England, Vijay was not able to partake in the tournament till now. The Gillies have had an abysmal start to the tournament with three losses in as many games and would need a special effort from Vijay Shankar to lift up their spirit.
In all likelihood, Shankar will start his TNPL campaign with the match between Chepauk Super Gillies and Lyca Kovai Kings on Thursday.
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