Chepauk Super Gillies and Tuti Patriots, the two teams that played the final of the inaugural edition of Tamil Nadu Premier League, will once again battle for the title at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on Sunday, August 20.
Super Gillies finished on top of the table last season, with five wins from seven games. The Chennai-based team lost only one game in the group stages this season, but still managed only the second spot at the end of the group stages, thanks to Tuti Patriots' supernatural form in the ongoing season.
Tuti have remained unbeaten in the tournament so far, clinching seven wins from as many group games. They Dinesh Karthik-led side then demolished Super Gillies in the Qualifier 1 on Tuesday, August 15 in Chennai by eight wickets after gunning down a 115-run target in just 12.3 overs.
Washington Sundar came up with yet another all-round performance, picking up two wickets in his three-over spell before smashing a 36-ball 73 that included 8 boundaries and 4 sixes.
The 17-year-old, who stole the show in the final of Indian Premier League 2017 with Rising Pune Supergiant, has been on top of his game in the ongoing season and has been key to Tuti's undisputed success this season.
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Sundar tops the run-scorers list with 445 runs from eight innings, which includes a ton. He also is the leading wicket-taker for Tuti with 14 wickets.
While Sundar along with his opening partner Kaushik Gandhi have been smashing records at the top, Tuti's batting unit has been further bolstered by the availability of veterans Karthik and India opener Abhinav Mukund, who smashed a 27-ball 33 on Tuesday.
While Tuti's bowling line-up also looks settled, doubts over medium pacer Ashwin Crist's fitness remains to be their only concern ahead of the big final.
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Skipper Karthik says his boys are well prepared for the final and that they are not going to think of their unbeaten record, which according to him will help them handle the pressure better.
"It has been a good tournament for us. If we start thinking about the fact that we are still unbeaten, it is only going to add more pressure on us because as it is there is enough pressure," Karthik said, as quoted by TNPL official website.
Sai Kishore key to hosts' chances
On the other Super Gillies should be worried by their 4-0 losing record against Tuti. Even in last year's final, Rajagopal Sathish's side was blown away by a mammoth 122-run margin after Tuti had posted 215 on the board.
Sathish will be hoping his left-arm trio of Sai Kishore, R Alexander and Arun Kumar would do the trick against the unbeatable Tuti on Sunday. Notably, Sai is the leading wicket-taker (15) this tournament and Super Gillies will be well-served if he provides the team with early breakthroughs.
"We are confident of playing good cricket against them and we aren't thinking of those four losses. We will continue to play good cricket that we have been doing so far," Super Gillies skipper Sathish opined.
When is the match and how to watch it live
The TNPL 2017 final between Chepauk and Tuti will begin at 7:15pm IST.
TV Channel: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports Tamil. Live streaming: Hotstar