Chennai, Sep 17: The second semi-final of Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) Twenty20 tournament will see table toppers Chepauk Super Gillies facing Lyca Kovai Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium today (September 17) at 6.30 PM IST. Albert Tuti Patriots are already in the final after beating Dindigul Dragons yesterday.
Both teams won their last game in contrasting styles. Chepauk won their game convincingly against the VB Thiruvallur Veerans by 41 runs to be the first side to qualify for the semis while Kovai eked out a 16-run win against the Dindigul Dragons and had to wait for the result of the last match to see if they had qualified. The last time the two sides met the Kovai side got the better of the Chepauk side.
Chepauk has been one of the strongest sides in the competition with the bat and on average have scored 160 plus runs while batting first. With only 2 losses in the tournament so far, the fortunes of the team have revolved around the form of the openers KH Gopinath and Thalaivan Sargunam.
Vasanth Saravan at No. 3 has been another stabilising force for the team. The trio have scored an astonishing 641 runs between them. Skipper R Sathish has also had some handy knocks for his side but the rest of the middle order has been rather untested.
The bowling department is spear-headed by Antony Dhas picking up 11 wickets so far while R Alexander and Sai Kishore have been able foils to his pace. Ashwath Mukunthan had a fabulous debut in the last game picking up a fifer and will hope that it helps him seal a place in the squad. The fielding has been sharp all tournament.
Kovai's strength lies in their bowling and the side has a knack of defending low-scoring totals. Led by pacers M Mohammed, K Vignesh and Harish Kumar, the side is also backed up by the experience of MK Siva Kumar.
The batting main stay for the side has been opener Anirudh Sita Ram with 281 runs. Suryaprakash has also had a few good knocks and will looking to carry his form from the last match into the semis.
Captain Syed J Mohammed will hope to click with the bat and ball in the absence of Murali Vijay. Fielding is one area of concern for the Kovai side and they will hope to fix that in the semis.
Key contest: R Sathish's opening spell against opener Anirudh Sita Ram should be an interesting tussle.
Chepauk's road to semi-finals
Lost to Albert TUTI Patriots by 45 runs
Beat Karaikudi Kaalai by 67 runs
Beat Ruby Kanchi Warriors by 7 wickets
Lost to Lyca Kovai Kings by 11 runs
Beat Dindigul Dragons by 6 runs
Beat Madurai Super Giants by 55 runs
Beat VB Thiruvallur Veerans by 41 runs
Kovai's road to semi-finals
Lost to Ruby Kanchi Warriors in Super Over
Beat Albert Tuti Patriots by 9 wickets
Beat Madurai Super Giants by 10 runs
Beat Chepauk Super Gillies by 11 runs
Lost to Karaikudi Kaalai by 36 runs
Lost to VB Thiruvallur Veerans by 2 runs
Beat Dindigul Dragons by 16 runs