The momentum shift arrived in the last six overs of the Madurai Panthers innings. The surge fetched the batting side 88 runs.
The brutal onslaught by J. Kousik and skipper N.S. Chaturved blew away Tiruppur Tamizhans. The turning point. Madurai had the total it sought; 184 for four. These runs sunk Tiruppur that went down by 81 runs in the TNPL clash at Chepauk on Monday.
Tiruppur lost early wickets. R. Silambarasan, worked up speed and cleaned up the left-handed S. Dinesh. Then he scored a direct hit from deep to run out S. Aravind.
Under pressure, Tiruppur continued to lose wickets. Left-armer V. Gowtham, sharpish on occasions, deceived the in-form Maan Bafna with a slower delivery and K.B. Arun Karthik took a gem in the deep.
Left-arm spinner Aushik Srinivas got the ball to hang in the air and Francis Rokins was held at long-off. It was only a matter of time – R. Rajkumar biffed a 28-ball 42 – before Madurai romped home.
Earlier, Kausik sizzled. Growing in confidence and relishing responsibility, the all-rounder is wading into the bowling with bright shots, clearing the field, firing the ball through the gaps, and bowling his seamers cleverly.
Kaushik (40 off 20) and skipper Chaturved (41 not out off 23) sent the Tiruppur fielders on a leather hunt.
Chaturved used his feet, and his timing and placement, came to the fore. He delivered the big blows too.
Earlier, after Tiruppur elected to field, the busy P. Sugenthiram struck Aswin Crist over mid-wicket for a six.
The combative Aswin had his revenge, sending back Sugenthiran, (20 off 12) with a delivery that moved away.
Arun Karthick, baffling many, did not open. When he arrived in the last over, he struck some lusty blows.
Despite a few productive shots, opener P. Praveen Kumar could not quite force the pace during his 37-ball 35.
The left-handed B. Anirudh, an underrated smooth-stroker who can coax the ball through unusual angles on the field, chipped in with a 25-ball 33 that injected urgency. Tiruppur was weighed down by a pile of runs.
Brief score: Madurai Panthers 184/4 in 20 overs (P. Praveen Kumar 35, R. Sugenthiran 20, B. Anirudh 33, J. Kousik 40, N.S. Chaturved 41 not out, A. Karuppaswamy 2/14) bt Tiruppur Tamizhans 103 all out in 17.4 overs (R. Rajkumar 42, R. Silambarasan 2/8 V. Gowtham 2/14, Aushik Srinivas 2/25).