Madras University skipper Avaikkarasan Sekar was all praise for his top order batsmen Sivaramakrishnan Subramanium and Kamalesh Murugesan, whose 78-run third wicket stand bailed the Southern Sharks out from a tricky situation during their opening group B match against APS University, Rewa in New Delhi on Monday.
Reeling at six for two wickets, Subramanium (73 off 60 balls) and Murugesan (39 off 36 balls) came good at a crucial juncture and paced their innings beautifully to enable Madras score a respectable 148 for 6 on a wicket where power hitting was not easy.
"When we lost the early wickets, I wasn't sure whether we will be able to get to a par score of 140-plus, but both the batsmen really got us out of trouble. All credit for the win goes to them," Sekar said.
The skipper himself came up with a quick-fire 24 off 19 balls, but played down his role, saying: "Yes, I did play a nice knock, but if they didn't hold the innings together upfront, we would have suffered."
Sekar also credited his two medium pacers, Rohit Ramalingam and Kiran Kashyap, who took two wickets apiece to restrict the Rewa boys. "They did well in the beginning and Rohit bowled well in the middle overs. That put the Rewa boys under pressure," the Madras captain said.
Rewa skipper Naveen Tiwari admitted his team's lack of experience in chasing totals under light but said his decision to field first was correct. "We did not put the pressure after taking two early Madras wickets. But their batsmen did well to recover," said Tiwari.
The Rewa skipper also said his batsmen played loose strokes and should have shown more discipline in chasing a modest target.