New Delhi: Southern Sharks University of Madras coasted to a comfortable 41-run win in their opening group B match against Eastern Tigers Avadesh Pratap Singh University, Rewa of the Toyota University Cricket Championship in New Delhi on Monday night. Chasing 149 for a win, the Rewa boys managed 107 for 8 when their 20 overs ran out.
Early wickets cost the Rewa boys dear as a 37-run third wicket stand between skipper Naveen Tiwari and Ankit Singh was not enough to push the Chennai boys at the Jamia Miliia University ground. The Tigers were never in the chase and any sign of a fight was scotched when the Rewa team lost Ankit and Naveen off back-to-back Rohit Ramalingam deliveries in the 15th over. While Ankit was top scorer with 41, the captain managed 28.
On a slow batting track, the Rewa boys failed to gather steam and their batting style was out of place. Ramalingam (2 for 13) and fellow medium pacer and Bowler of the Match Kiran Kashyap (2 for 20) bowled a good line and the bowlers were generally backed up by good fielding, especially from skipper Avaikkarasan Sekar.
Earlier, a 78-run stand between Man of the Match Sivaramakrishnan Subramanium and Kamalesh Murugesan was the centerpiece of the Southern Sharks innings. Asked to bat by the Eastern Tigers, the Chennai lads recovered from a horrible start to post a challenging total of 148 for six in their 20 overs.
The Sharks made a bad start losing two wickets for just six runs on the board in the second over, but Siva held one side up and with Murugesan started the recovery process. The Jamia wicket wasn't conducive for good hitting but on a dry and slow deck, the Chennai lads paced their innings to a nicety.
Both Siva and Murugesan mixed caution with aggression as their 74-ball stand was a sign of maturity that the batsmen displayed. Trying to force the pace, Murugesan was out for 39 off 36 balls. His innings contained five fours.
But it was Siva who batted Chennai into respectability, scoring a brilliant 60-ball 73. He was run out with just 2 balls left on the innings but not before striking nine fours. Skipper Avaikkarasan Sekar chipped in with a 19-ball 24 as Chennai ended on a definite high.