About the Match
The Chepauk Super Gillies will be taking on the Lyca Kovai Kings for a place in the final of the TNPL 2017. It promises to be an exciting encounter between two teams that have had an excellent tournament. The Gillies have only been beaten by the TUTI Patriots this season, while the Kovai Kings are peaking at just the right time in the tournament.
Chepauk Super Gillies
The Chepauk Super Gillies lost their chance to qualify for the finals against the TUTI Patriots in the most emphatic manner possible. They were first bowled out for 114 and then saw Washington Sundar absolutely demolish their bowling attack to lead his side to victory in just 12.3 overs.
The prospect of facing them once again in the finals is not going to be particularly enticing but they still have a red-hot Lyca Kovai Kings to get past first. In the three matches played between the two sides, the Gillies have defeated Kovai twice and lost once. They also managed to beat them quite handsomely in the league stages this year.
They can expect a much sterner challenge this time around as a reinforced Lyca Kovai Kings will step on the field.
The responsibility of making the runs will have to be taken by Sargunam and Gopinath at the top of the order. Both of them have had a good season but fallen off in the last few matches. They were both back in the pavilion within the first four overs in the last match and the Gillies never really recovered afterward.
Karthik, Sasidev and Antony Dhas have also contributed well in this tournament but ideally, the Super Gillies will not want to leave too much to do for the middle order.
We believe the biggest strength of the Cheapuak Super Gillies is their ace spinner, Sai Kishore. He gave away only 19 runs in four overs and even managed a maiden in a match where every other bowler was dismantled with ease.
On a surface that has aided spinners the most, Sai Kishore could determine whether the Gillies win or lose this match.
Lyca Kovai Kings
What a difference one player can make! Ever since Murali Vijay has returned to the Lyca Kovai Kings their performance has just sky rocketed. The effect of having a senior India international p[layer at the top of the order has also given confidence to other players like R Rohith, Anirudh Sita Ram, and Srinivasan to play with a lot of freedom.
The Lyca Kovai Kings are making it a bit of a habit to chase down large totals with ease. Those matches were played on much friendlier batting surfaces, however, and it is not going to be as easy on the low, slow pitch that Tirunelveli usually offers.
A lot will depend on how the openers take advantage of the new ball and this is where Murali Vijay comes in. He has the potential to win this match for his team single handed and will have the biggest target on his back.
He will likely have to face up against Sai Kishore early on in a contest that we cannot wait to watch. This team is, however, more than just one man as Rohith showed in the last match, Anirudh in the one before that and Suryaprakash across the tournament.
A huge advantage for the Lyca Kovai Kings is also the fact they will be brimming with belief after having won from difficult situations consistently.
While the bowling for Kovai looks sorted at the moment, their bowling is a bit of a worry. They are giving away runs in almost every match and then being bailed out by the batsmen. K Vignesh and Harish Kumar will be looking to put in an improved performance, which we expect them to on a surface that should hold on quite a bit.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at Tirunelveli has an intrinsic character of being low, gripping and providing plenty of help to the spinners. That cannot change over a couple of days although the ground staff will definitely try to roll it as much as possible. Batting first will be a huge advantage here.
There is some concern about rain interfering in the match and some clouds will be hovering around for most of the day at Tirunelveli.
Lyca Kovai Kings to wi