Skipper Baba Aparajit led from the front with the bat as his century took Thiruvallur Veerans to a victory against Karaikudi Kaalais.
The 22-year old from Chennai slammed his maiden century in the shortest format of the game, which was also the first century of the newly launched Tamil Nadu Premier League. Having won the toss, Aparajit asked the Karaikudi Kaalais to bat first. Former Chennai Super Kings player Anirudha Srikkanth and Vijay Kumar opened the innings for the Kaalais. The former was dismissed cheaply, after being trapped in front. Srinivasan and Vijay Kumar combined well and struck boundaries at regular intervals. The former was dismissed after a 69-run partnership.
Srinivasan went on to score a half-century before falling to Rahil Shah. Experienced campaigner, Subramaniam Badrinath was dismissed for just 7, when he nicked one to the keeper from a delivery by upcoming sensation Malolan Rangarajan. Rajkumar struck a few lusty blows and his cameo took the Kaalais to a total of 165 in their 20 overs.
Thiruvallur Veerans got off to a poor start, losing both their openers cheaply. Aparajit, who has represented India in the u19 World Cup, was unfazed by their dismissals and went on in his merry way. The skipper took control and played most of the deliveries. He displayed a batting masterclass smashing the spinners to all corners of the ground. Aparajit and Kavin stitched a 45 run partnership for the fourth wicket, with the latter contributing a mere 6 runs off 11 deliveries.
He brought up his century with a huge six over square leg. His timing was exquisite and he played with finesse. Though there were a couple of catches put down during his innings, Aparajit’s classy innings has to be one of the best innings in t20s all over. Malolan Rangarajan gave him good support with his cameo of 30 from 20 balls. Aparajit fittingly finished the match with his last three scoring shots being a boundary, a six and a boundary. He was deservedly awarded the Man of the Match for his herculean effort. This innings would surely catch the eyes of the audience after a one-sided game yesterday at the MA Chidhambaram Stadium.