In a must-watch TNPL game at the SCF Cricket Ground in Salem, Lyca Kovai Kings eventually came out on top against Nellai Kings, who were undefeated prior to this game.
In a call that bucked the trend, Kovai captain Shahrukh Khan opted to strike first after winning the toss, likely due to previous results on this site. Kovai’s hitters backed up the call with a solid batting display. Openers Ganga Sridhar Raju and J Suresh Kumar did the heavy lifting with their mammoth 117-run opener partnership.
The duo hit reasonably, keeping the runs flowing while playing without too much risk before Raju went down for a 48-43 ball. Suresh Kumar was exhausted after a supern 48 ball at 75. Sai Sudharsan blazed to the death, making 35 of 18 deliveries. , as Kovai finished with a significant 177-4 aggregate in their 20 overs allowed.
In response, Nellai started steadily and was comfortably placed at 38-1 when the power play ended. Baba Aparajith and L Suryaprakash built a good second-wicket partnership but the latter fell just as the runs were flowing. Tournament top scorer Sanjay Yadav came in and single-handedly kept Nellai in the game, displaying his wide array of big shots.
With a whopping 59 runs required over the final four overs, the impressive G Ajitesh joined Yadav in the crease. The next ten balls saw NRK score 39 points to get back into the game. Despite losing three more wickets, Nellai was in the driver’s seat heading into the final innings, with nine runs required and Yadav on strike.
Shahrukh Khan was in charge of winning the most important of the tournament, and the bet paid off.
Although he missed the first ball, he only conceded three runs, fending off two batters, including the dangerous Yadav, as LKK won by five runs. Yadav scored a stunning half-century (54 from 31 balls), but in a losing cause.
TNPL 2022 Updated Points Table
Kovai confirmed his place in the top four of the 2022 TNPL, finishing behind Nellai and Chepauk, and ahead of Lyca Super Kings. While the Siechem Madurai Panthers have an outside chance of finishing second if they win big, there isn’t much else to play for.