Dindigul, July 25: Kanchi Veerans bounced back in the Tamil Nadu Premier League with a massive 110-run victory over Karaikudi Kaalai at the NPR College ground.
Experienced hands Sanjay Yadav and Rajagopal Sathish were the architects of Veeran's win. The 24-year-old Yadav, who was signed up by Kolkata Knight Riders in 2017, unleashed a power-packed 95 off 60 balls, laden with seven fours and six sixes, as VBKV powered to 177-4 in 20 overs. In reply, Kaalai were skittled for 67 in 14.4 overs.
Yadav (1-6) also picked a wicket with his left-arm spin to cap a memorable day.
Sathish, who had earlier turned in a 31-run cameo, pulled the rug from under the rivals' feat with a double strike in his first over, that also saw a needless run out of Maan K Bafna (0). Sathish dismissed L Surya Prakash (12) and Yo Mahesh in identical fashion, both batsmen edging the ball to wicketkeeper S Lokeshwar.
The 38-year-old medium pacer claimed two more wickets to finish with his best analysis (4-0-17-4) in the league. It bettered his 3-17 for Chepauk Super Gillies against VB Thiravallur Veerans in 2017.
Medium-pacer Gautam Thamarai Kannan (2-17) dealt the first blow when he claimed Kaalai captain Anirudha Srikkanth (0) with his first ball, the batsman inside-edging a pull onto his stumps.
Thereafter, the innings failed to take off as Kaalai kept losing wickets with only three batsmen reaching double figures.
It was an amazing comeback by Veerans after losing the first match against Lyca Kovai Kings by eight wickets.
Earlier, the decision to promote Yadav to No 3 by captain Baba Aparajith turned out to be a brilliant move as the all-rounder almost single-handedly took on the iDKK bowlers. The tall left-hander came in to bat in the fifth ball of the innings after a U Mukilesh (0) edge off pacer Sunil Sam was superbly taken by wicketkeeper Anirudh Srikkanth diving to his right.
Yadav took a couple of overs to get his eye in before he began his onslaught. A short-arm pulled six off Sam was followed by a crunching drive to the cover fence. In the next over bowled by pacer Yo Mahesh, he struck a four and a lofted six over extra cover to power the Veerans' scoring rate.
Two other shots stood out in Yadav's knock. The first was a massive hit over long-on off left-arm spinner S Mohan Prasath that went miles into the night sky and out of the college campus. The second was a pulled six off a sharp bouncer bowled by fast bowler Velidi Lakshman. Despite the ball climbing on him, Yadav connected it superbly to smack it over the square leg fence.
Yadav had able allies at the other end and together they strung some crucial partnerships. The first was 71 runs off 51 balls for the second wicket with opener K Vishal Vaidhya (27 off 24 balls) and 56 runs off 42 balls for the third wicket with Aparajith (19 off 20 balls).
Yadav was unlucky to be out, five runs short of a deserving century. A slog off left-arm spinner Mohan Prasath landed straight into the hands of long-on fielder R Rajkumar. It was, however, his best knock in TNPL, surpassing the 61 he scored against Tuti Patriots in 2017.
The seasoned Satish (31 not out off 14 balls, 5 fours) provided a strong finish to the VBKV innings with a flurry of boundaries.
Brief scores: Kanchi Veerans: 177-4 in 20 overs (Vishal Vaidhya 27, R Sanjay Yadav 95, Baba Aparajith 19, Rajagopal Satish 31 not out; Sunil Sam 2-38, V Aaditya 1-8) beat Karaikudi Kaalai: 67 all out in 14.4 overs (Gowtham Thamarai Kannan 2-17, Rajagopal Sathish 4-17, Sanjay Yadav 1-6) by 110 runs.