Murali Vijay came up with his best performance in the Sankar Cement Tamil Nadu Twenty20 Premier League (TNPL) to guide Ruby Trichy Warriors to their first victory of the season at the NPR College Ground here on Tuesday.
The India star hit his maiden century (101 off 57 balls, 11 fours, 4 sixes) in the tournament as RTW notched 177-4 in 20 overs and their bowlers then restricted Tuti Patriots to 160-7 in 20 overs for a 17-run victory.
RTW’s first win in six matches meant they pushed iDream Karaikudi Kaalai to the eighth spot but more importantly hurt Tuti Patriots’ Playoff hopes. TP stay put at the sixth spot with four points from seven matches
Chasing 178 runs for victory, TP started well with their best batsmen, captain Venkataramanan Subramania Siva (25 off 19 balls, 3 fours, 1 six) and Akshay Srinivasan (63 off 47 balls, 2 fours, 5 sixes) raising 41 runs in 5.4 overs. Siva’s dismissal, sweeping RTW captain and left-arm spinner Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore straight to deep backward square leg, before the inning’s momentum.
Thereafter, the 25-year-old Srinivasan waged a lone battle until he got out in the 17th over, slashing medium-pacer P Saravana Kumar to deep point where DT Chandrasekar took a tumbling catch.
It was the 50th TNPL match at NPR College Ground, which has proved to be a happy hunting ground for Vijay who notched scores of 81 (iDream Karaikudi), 78 (Siechem Madurai Panthers), 99 (Dindigul Dragons) and 101 on Tuesday.
The India star has shored up RTW in all matches he has played and his average tenure at the crease has been 19.1 overs. It was no different in his fourth match on Tuesday as he unleashed another batting masterclass.
In all, he has tallied 359 runs this season and is just two runs behind leader Narayanan Jagadeesan (361 runs) in the runs chart.
Vijay got going with a four in the third over, a lofted drive off medium-pacer Sivagnanan Senthilnathan over covers and in the next over by pacer Tamil Kumaran struck a four and six over the bowler’s head.
Fast bowler Athisayaraj Davidson then put the brakes on the innings with a double blow, dismissing opener Karunakaran Mukunth (6 off 12 balls) and Aditya Barooah (0) within a space of five balls.
Vijay found an able ally in the left-handed Adithya, who grew in stature in the company of the international star. Together they added 141 runs for the third wicket in 85 balls with Vijay contributing 83 runs. It was also the best third-wicket partnership in TNPL eclipsing the 115-run stand between VB Thiravallur Veerans’ Baba Aparajith and Sanjay Yadav against Tuti Patriots in the 2017 season.
Vijay reached his fifty (33b, 4 fours, three sixes) in the 13th over with a four to long-on and a six over extra cover off medium-pacer Vasanth Saravanan and signed off the over with a reverse swept four. In all, the over fetched 18 runs.
The 35-year-old switched gears soon after and RTW benefited immensely as 52 runs came in 18 balls with Vijay’s contribution being 36 runs. Leg-spinner A Venkatesh, who bowled the 15th over went for 23 runs while left-arm spinner Ganesh Moorthi was hit for 14 runs and pacer Kumaran for 15 runs respectively. Vijay smashed seven fours and one six in that period with Adithya hitting just a six each off Venkatesh and Moorthi.
Vijay’s second fifty was far quicker and came off 22 balls which was laden with 11 seven fours and one six. He brought up his maiden century in the tournament in the 19th over with a single to covers off Senthilnathan. He was finally dismissed in the final over top-edging Davidson to Akshay Srinivasan in front of the sightscreen.
Vijay was particularly severe on Kumaran and Venkatesh hitting them for 27 runs (14 balls) and 24 runs (7 balls) respectively.
The 28-year-old Adithya, who notched his maiden fifty in TNPL also got out in the 20th over edging Davidson to wicketkeeper Nidhish Rajagopal.
The 27-year-old Davidson was the best bowler for Tuti Patriots claiming four wickets for 24 runs.
Both teams head to India Cements Ltd- Sankar Nagar ground, Tirunelveli for their last league matches of the season. Tuti Patriots meet Chepauk Super Gillies on Friday (August 9) in the first match of the day and Ruby Trichy Warriors face VB Kanchi Veerans later in the evening on the same day.
Brief scores:Ruby Trichy Warriors 177-4 in 20 overs(Murali Vijay 101, Adithya Ganesh 56; V Athisayaraj Davidson 4-24) beat Tuti Patriots 160-7 in 20 overs (Venkataramanan Subramania Siva 25, Akshay Srinivasan 63; Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore 1-26, DT Chandrasekar 2-34, Murugan Poiyamozhi 2-36) by 17 runs.
Toss:RTW, elected to bat
Points:Ruby Trichy Warriors; Tuti Patriots
Umpires:R Rajesh Kannan, Mohd Rafi; TV umpire:N Janani.
Match referee:Arjan Kripal Singh.
Sankar Cement Man of the Match:Murali Vijay (RTW)
Sankar Cement Maximum 6s: Akshay Srinivasan (TP)
TCM-Nippon Paint Atom Best All-rounder:Akshay Srinivasan (TP)
SNJ VSOP Adhiradhi Four:Murali Vijay (RTW)
BKT Tyres Commander of the Match: Murali Vijay (RTW)
Sprite Juicy+ Refreshing Player:Adithya Ganesh (RTW)
TVS Most Valuable Player of the Match:Athisayaraj Davidson (TP)
Sharon Ply Strong Performer of the Match:DT Chandrasekar (RTW)
|Chepauk Super Gillies||6||4||2||8||+1.367|
|Siechem Madurai Panthers||6||4||2||8||+0.689|
|VB Kanchi Veerans||6||3||3||6||+0.575|
|Lyca Kovai Kings||6||3||3||6||-0.031|
|Ruby Trichy Warriors||6||1||5||2||-0.506|
|iDream Karaikudi Kaalai||6||1||5||2||-2.208|