TNPL: Bharath Shankar's ton in vain; Kaalai makes it to play-offs

Karaikudi Kaalai chased the biggest target in the history of Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) as it defeated Ruby Trichy Warriors by six wickets with seven balls to spare at the NPRCET grounds here on Friday.

Bharath Shankar's unbeaten 68-ball 112 included 10 fours and seven sixes.   -  V. GANESAN

Karaikudi Kaalai chased the biggest target in the history of Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) as it defeated Ruby Trichy Warriors by six wickets with seven balls to spare at the NPRCET grounds here on Friday.

With this win Karaikudi Kaalai has qualified for the play-offs. Chasing 191, Karaikudi Kaaalai got off to a blazing start. Southpaw Vishal Vaidya was off to a flier, smashing K. Vignesh for three sixes in the fourth over as Karaikudi reached fifty in just four overs. But Vishal's joy was short-lived as he was castled by J. Kaushik.

Badrinath going for a ramp shot was caught at short fine leg as Karaikudi Kaalai ended power play at 70-2. S. Anirudha, who did not have much strike in the initial overs, brought up Karaikudi's hundred with a six in the tenth over. M. Prabhu prized out Aditya immediately.

The pressure was on Anirudha, who was recovering from injury and was restricted in his movements. Anirudha found an able ally in M. Shajahan. Anirudha brought his fifty with a boundary as Karaikudi reached 150 in the fifteenth over.  Anirudha's six off M. Prabhu brought a fifty-run stand with Shajahan before the former was castled. With 24 needed in three overs, Shajahan and C. Ganapathi plundered eighteen runs of J. Kousik's over as Karaikudi scaled the target in the penultimate over.

Earlier, H. Bharath Shankar smashed unbeaten 112 of just 68 balls with ten fours and seven sixes as Ruby Trichy Warriors set a massive target of 191. Bharath was on fire smashing five fours of his first ten deliveries after Ruby Trichy Warriors elected to bat first.

Brief scores:-

Ruby Trichy Warriors
190 for two in 20 overs (H. Bharath Shankar 112 n.o., Akkil Srinaath 37 n.o., Aditya Giridhar 27) lost to Karaikudi Kaalai 193 for four in 18.5 overs (S. Anirudha 60, K. Vishal Vaidya 40, M. Shajahan 39 n.o.).