Lyca Kovai Kings was racing against time and weather. The skies were opening up. Would there be time to squeeze in one more decisive over?
Lyca, reducing Chepauk Super Gillies to 14 for two in four overs, was on the verge of a title triumph.
For a result to be reached, a minimum of five overs needed to be bowled in the innings and the par score for Super Gillies at the five-over mark according to DL method was 39.
In other words, Super Gillies needed a mammoth 26-run fifth over on a blustery day of rain and thunder for a result in its favour.
But then, rain intensified and the umpires ordered both teams off the arena. Eventually the two sides were declared joint winners.
Earlier, Lyca, inserted, had progressed to 138 for nine, with the left-handed Sai Sudhansan conjuring a gem, a 42-ball 65 (8x4, 1x6).
When Super Gillies began the chase, Lyca struck at the start. Kaushik Gandhi attempted to strike left-arm spinner Ajith Ram over mid-on and was well held by V. Yudheeshwaran.
Then, seamer Yudheeshwaran made further inroads, with N. Jagadeesan miscuing a stroke over mid-off. Lyca skipper Shahrukh Khan skipped back to hold the catch.
Lyca was cock-a-hoop. Rain, though, had its own plans.
When Lyca batted, Sudharsan innovated and created on a track where batting was demanding.
The southpaw was light on his feet, balanced, and picked the length early as the ball was eased through the gaps.
The left-hander’s delightful exhibition comprised clean, crisp strokes, no slogging.
When paceman Sonu Yadav overpitched, the southpaw whipped him straight, neither the long-on nor the long-off, both straightish, moved. The ball bisected them.
All class and assurance, Sudharsan’s duel with left-arm spinner Sai Kishore was engrossing. He cut, pulled and delicately dabbed Sai for boundaries, forcing the bowler to alter his length, splitting the field.
And R. Alexander was gloriously struck down the ground. Sudharsan raced to 50 in only 30 balls.
But then, Lyca lost wickets in a cluster towards the end as lively paceman Sandeep Warrier scalped four, Sai was among wickes too.
The big gun failed to fire. Shahrukh (22 off 17) biffed M. Siddharth for a straight six and swung Yadav but was held in the deep off Sai, as the bowler pulled back his length a tad.
In the end, it did not matter.
Lyca Kovai Kings 138 for nine in 17 overs (Ganga Sridhar Raju 27, Sai Sudharsan 65, Sandeep Warrier four for 29, Sai Kishore three for 26, Sonu Yadav two for 29) versus Chepauk Super Gillies 14 for two in four overs. Match abandoned. Both teams declared joint-winners.
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