TNPL 2024: Nellai Royal Kings, Lyca Kovai Kings clinch humdingers

With 20 needed off six balls, left-hander Nidhish Rajagopal (53 n.o., 35b, 3×4, 3×6) whacked medium-pacer Aswin Crist for a four, two sixes, and a four in succession to help Nellai Royal Kings beat Chepauk Super Gillies with three wickets and a ball to spare in the eighth edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) at the Salem Cricket Foundation (SCF) ground here on Sunday.

Aswin’s slower balls were dispatched for a straight four and two sixes to the deep midwicket boundary, while his wide yorker was sliced hard at for the outside edge to speed to the third man boundary for four.

Nellai’s chase was set up by opener Mokit Hariharan’s 52 (38b, 5×4, 1×6) and G. Ajitesh’s 14-ball cameo (30, 4×4, 1×6).

READ | IND-W vs SA-W, 2nd T20I: Rain washes out encounter after Brits fifty helps South Africa post 177/6

Mokit was dashing in the first four overs but seemed to turn responsible and anchor the chase thereafter. Ajitesh’s knock, though, was the equivalent of 17-minute bare-knuckle boxing where the opposition only took and didn’t trade bruising blows.

Put into bat, Chepauk got to 166 for six, thanks to opener N. Jagadeesan’s unbeaten 63 (46b, 3×4, 3×6).

Uncharacteristic of him, he only really pulled the trigger twice. In the 15th over, he hit back-to-back straight four and six off debutant leg-spinner and impact player R. Kirubakar. In the 17th over, he played a switch hit for four over short third man and a straight six again off left-arm spinner Mohan Prasath.

In the second match of the day, Lyca Kovai Kings skipper M. Shahrukh Khan (55, 32b, 4×4, 4×6) was at his muscling best versus iDream Tiruppur Tamizhans. For instance, T. Natarajan had outsmarted him with a slower ball in the 17th over, but his half-hit cleared the long off-boundary.

Tushar Raheja’s adhesive knock (81, 57b, 9×4, 2×6) – it held his team’s innings together – for Tiruppur went in vain. He remarkably slashed his first six to the deep point boundary off medium-pacer Gowtham Thamarai Kannan. He charged at leg-spinner Jhathavedh Subramanyan and smashed him straight for his second six. He also played a nerveless reverse sweep for four off left-arm spinner M. Siddharth in the penultimate ball of the 16th over when the match was primed for a tense finish. With six needed off four balls, though, he holed out to long off.

Ajith Ram edged medium-pacer M. Mohammed for a four to the third-man boundary to make it two from one ball. But he missed the last ball and set off for a single, as the keeper ran out his partner S. Ganesh for Kovai to win by just one run.

The scores:

Chepauk Super Gillies 166/6 in 20 overs (D. Santhosh Kumar 41, N. Jagadeesan 63 n.o., R. Silambarasan 3/31) lost to Nellai Royal Kings 168/7 in 19.5 overs (Mokit Hariharan 52, G. Ajitesh 30, Nidhish Rajagopal 53 n.o., Daryl Ferrario 3/32).

Lyca Kovai Kings 160/7 in 20 overs (B. Sachin 30, M. Shahrukh Khan 55) bt iDream Tiruppur Tamizhans 159/8 in 20 overs (Tushar Raheja 81, Mohamed Ali 35).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *