TNPL: Shahrukh excels in Kovai Kings’ win

Shahrukh scored a 45-ball 59 as Lyca Kovai Kings beat defending champion Chepauk Super Gillies by 53 runs.

M. Shahrukh Khan of Lyca Kovai Kings, who scored 67 runs, plays a shot during the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) Twenty20 cricket match against Ruby TrichyWarriors at the NPRCET grounds in Dindigul.   -  M. Vedhan

Semma Weightu’ is what the Lyca Kovai Kings banner screamed. And the team, with a towering figure in Shahrukh Khan, did just that by throwing its weight around to score an an emphatic 53-run win over defending champion Chepauk Super Gillies in the Sankar Cement TNPL  here on Thursday.

A stylish batsman, Shahrukh (59, 45b, 6x4, 2x6) has been in great form this season. He went big by gliding paceman Sunny Kumar’s first ball to the ropes and hoisted the next to the long-on fence. He followed it up with another lovely drive to the boundary.

Shahrukh went full steam from there but quietened a bit in the middle overs. He played every ball to its merits. With skipper Abhinav Mukund (34, 35b, 4x4) nicely rotating the strike, the duo went on to raise a crucial 90-run stand.

The Kings could have well posted a huge score if not for the the spin trio of M. Ashwin, B. Arun and R. Alexander, who applied the brakes midway through.

They picked up four wickets in the space of ten balls to thwart the Kings, which finished at 158 for six.

Not a big target to chase for a team like Gillies that had some young blood to deliver the goods. The team, searching for its first win this season, was confident of doing it this time around.

But with K. Vignesh and spinners Ajith Ram and S. Manigandan (three for 21) breathing fire early, the Gillies lost four quick wickets and, with it, the match.

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