'Super' victory for Kovai Kings

By NT Bureau Published on Jul 16, 2018 04:01 PM IST

Tirunelveli: Lyca Kovai Kings began their 2018 Sankar Cement-TNPL campaign with a thrilling win over iDream Karaikudi Kaalai via the Super Over at the ICL Sankar Nagar ground in Tirunelveli on Sunday,  after the match ended in a tie.

Batting first in the Super Over, Kovai Kings managed to score 14 runs. Kaalai’s experienced bowler Yo Mahesh dismissed Shahrukh Khan for 4 (2) but Abhinav Mukund and Anthony Dhas played out the remainder of the over.

Kovai Kings expectedly chose experienced left-arm pacer T Natarajan to bowl the Super Over for them. He repaid the faith as he helped Kovai defend the 15 runs. Anirudha Srikkanth and R Kavin struggled to get going and fell short by 6 runs.

Earler in the match, chasing 163 for victory, Kovai Kings were given a flying start by openers Shahrukh Khan (32, 20b, 3x4,2x6) and captain Abhinav Mukund (59, 44b, 8x4).

After Mukund’s dismissal, Karaikudi Kaalai tried their best to sneak back into the game but the partnership between Dhas and Ashwin V kept Kovai Kings on track.

Kovai Kings then lost three wickets in the last nine balls and eventually, the match was decided by the super over.

Kaaraikudi Kaalai spinner S Swaminathan said,"There were several positives across all three departments of the game. Had we managed the run out in the last delivery we would have finished winners and the match would not have gone into the Super Over."

Earlier, Karaikudi Kaalai’s Maan K Bafna, batting at No 3, hit a fine 44 (22b, 2x4, 4x6) to put the side on track to a good total. However, they managed only 46 runs in the last six overs to finish at 162.

For Kovai Kings Leg-spinner Prasanth Rajesh picked up three wickets and Dhas took two. Natarajan went wicketless but conceded just 19 runs in his four overs.

"Losing a super over is hard to digest, but we need to be proud of our effort," said stand-in skipper of Kaaraikudi, Anirudha Srikkanth.

"I was satisfied, wanted to take it to the end and finish it for my team; but that didn't happen. We messed it up in the end," said Kovai captain Abhinav Mukund.

He praised Natarajan for defending the total in the super over. "Natarajan has been exceptional and is one of the best death bowlers going around in the country at the moment. But we gave away a lot of runs in the middle-overs and we should have finished it off before the super over," he said.

KAUSHIK GANDHI SCRIPTS TUTI'S WIN WITH A TON

During the first match of the day at the same ground, Tuti Patriots beat VB Kanchi Veerans by 48 runs after a sparkiling century from Tuti skipper Kaushik Gandhi.

Bringing up his hundred in just 66 balls, Gandhi became only the fifth centurion in the tournament’s history and first in the third edition. The unbeaten 111(68b) by the opener included 13 boundaries and 3 sixes.