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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Ashes .. .. ...TNPL Super Over

For the Cricket lovers, the age old rivalry of England – Australia – the ‘Ashes’ – in fact, the 71st Ashes series starting today and go on till Sept 16, 2019.  The two countries take it in turns to host a five-Test series, normally every couple of years, with the winner keeping hold of the Ashes urn. The first series took place in 1882-83, with the most recent in Australia in the winter of 2017-18.

England captain Joe Root and coach Trevor Bayliss were reportedly frustrated over the inclusion of Australian skipper Tim Paine's new handshake tradition in the official running order of match day operations.   .. .. in India this would have started ‘intolerance & award vapsi’ against Modi Govt.  Ahead of the Ashes opener at Edgbaston on Thursday, Root and Bayliss notified ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle that they were not formally consulted on the new handshake ceremony.  To us, it may sound – what is big about this; would not people shake hands ?  -  yet, as of now it is not clear if the England Test captain will comply and the handshakes will take place before start of the series.

Tim Paine, the Australia captain, has looked to bring in the football inspired goodwill ritual at the start of every Test series his side play as a way of rebuilding their image after the ball tampering scandal in South Africa last year. But Root and Trevor Bayliss, the England captain and head coach respectively, are understood to have been surprised during a meeting on Wednesday with Ranjan Madugalle, the International Cricket Council match referee, when they saw it on the running order agreed by the two countries without being asked formally. Eoin Morgan, England’s one-day captain, agreed to the same request from Paine before the one-day international series last summer and there was perhaps an assumption, either by Cricket Australia or by the ICC, that the same would apply once more. Root, while not looking to stoke up ill-feeling between the teams, is said to be less than convinced of the necessity for what is essentially a PR move, not least since it does not take place before any other Test series. It now remains to be seen whether the England captain reluctantly complies and the handshakes take place before play.

Asked how he expected Australia’s players to behave this series, Root replied: “We’ll see how that unfolds in the course of the series. To be honest, their behaviour doesn’t really concern me. The thing that concerns me is that we go about things in our own way. It’s really important we look after that and don’t get too wrapped up in how they play their cricket.” Notably, Australia's banned trio of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are expected to play together for the first time since the ball-tampering scandal.

Back home, in Tamil Nadu, TNPL is so interesting.  For the uninformed, Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) is the brainchild of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), created as an exciting platform in the game’s shortest format for talented and promising cricketers from across the state to showcase their talent. Now in its fourth edition, the Sankar Cement-sponsored TNPL 2019, comprising eight teams and 32 matches, is being  played over 28 days across three venues between July 19 and August 15. The three venues are ICL-Sankar Nagar cricket ground in Tirunelveli, the NPR Cricket ground in Natham (Dindigul) and the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

The tournament has grown both in stature and popularity over the past two seasons, and a total of 878 players  that includes many  leading names. Yesterday was an interesting match that spilled into mid-night, into Super over.
Abhishek Tanwar & J Koushik

The match between Trichy & Madurai threw up a tie.  Siechem Madurai Panthers won the toss and put Ruby Trichy Warriors in.  Murali Vijay brought up his second half-century in as many matches with a six off R. Mithun. But, left-arm spinner Rahil Shah’s double strike in the 14th over pulled things back for the Panthers.  Murali’s unbeaten 78 off 66 and K Mukunth’s 32 took Trichy to 142/6.  Rahil shah bolwed well conceding mere 17 in his 4 claiming 2 wickets.  In reply, Panthers, despite losing two wickets, raced to 59 in the first six overs with opener K.B. Arun Karthick (46, 26b, 7x4, 1x6) scoring the bulk of the runs. Skipper P. Shijit Chandran provided solid support to Karthick, who reached 1000 TNPL runs (26 innings) along the way, Panthers scripted a recovery through a 24-run stand for the fifth wicket between J. Kousik and Sabin Somatha. After the fall of Sabin and Tanwar, the youngster from Coimbatore tried his best but the contest went to a Super Over.

So the match went into Super Over in the midnight.  Abhishek & Arun Karthik opened and the bowler was Saravankumar.  The first ball appeared to have been hit well by KB Arun Karthik but went straight to deep midwicket fielder where Aravind accepted the catch. 0/1; next well a top edge by Tanwar sailed well over fine leg for a 6 – next AB Tanwar pulled off the meat of the bat for a long six over deep midwicket. 4th ball Tanwar mistimed and was taken at mid-off by Murali Vijay.  Just 12 runs – 2 balls wasted !

Requiring mere 13 it was Tanwar to bowl- Murali Vijay slashed at a wide delivery and hit it straight to Mithun at deep point. 2nd ball Aditya Ganesh took a single; Mani Barathi took another single; .. .. Mani Barathi got out off the last ball .. so in chase the team could not score just 13 – though the former wasted 2 balls too ..

While looking into match details found this interesting !  - match referee was : Sampathkumar Srinivasan, born in 1965 played for Railways, Tamil Nadu.

With regards – S(rinivasan) Sampathkumar
1st Aug 2019.

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