TNPL 2022 Playoffs: Super Gillies near fourth title; Kovai, Madurai clash in Eliminator

With four teams having varying strengths and styles of play, the stage is set for an exciting finish to the tournament.

Siechem Madurai Panthers will start as slight favourites with the experienced K. B. Arun Karthick being one of the most amongst runs, supported by B. Anirudh and skipper N. S. Chaturved.

Siechem Madurai Panthers will start as slight favourites with the experienced K. B. Arun Karthick being one of the most amongst runs, supported by B. Anirudh and skipper N. S. Chaturved. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

With four teams having varying strengths and styles of play, the stage is set for an exciting finish to the tournament.

After a month of a gruelling league phase spread across four venues, the sixth edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League will head into its final phase with the playoffs starting on Tuesday here at the Salem Cricket Foundation ground.

In a slight change to the usual schedule, the eliminator will be played first with Siechem Madurai Panthers and Lyca Kovai Kings facing off on Tuesday before topper Nellai Royal Kings take on defending champion Chepauk Super Gillies in the first qualifier on Wednesday.

The caravan will then move to Coimbatore for the second qualifier and finals.

Panthers will start as slight favourites as it has one of the best bowling units in the competition with a good mix of pace and spin. One of the finds of the tournament has been medium-pace all-rounder Sunny Sandhu, who has bowled economically (6.16) alongside R. Silambarasan, while Varun Chakravarthy has led the spin attack.

The experienced K. B. Arun Karthick has been amongst runs, supported by B. Anirudh and skipper N. S. Chaturved but a problem for the former champion on the batting front is the lack of depth lower down the order.

For Kovai, their batting has been its strength with J. Suresh Kumar (352 runs), and B. Sai Sudharsan setting the tone at a brisk pace. Skipper M. Shahrukh Khan has led the side well and has been leading from the front as an off-spinner picking up ten wickets. An area of concern though will be the lack of a proper second pacer to support Abhishek Tanwar.

The standout team though has been the Royal Kings with six wins and it was just a strike away from winning all seven.

The team’s success has been built on its powerful batting lineup led by R. Sanjay Yadav (376) and B. Aparajith (318) who are first and third on the run charts striking at 188 and 151.9 respectively.

The defeat to Kovai though will come as a good wake-up call for Nellai ahead of its match against the Super Gillies, who started with two defeats before bouncing back to win the next five and are peaking at the right time.

The three-time champion has some of the best players in the state and will always be a threat, especially with its strong bowling unit with quality spinners in R. Sai Kishore and M. Siddharth while Sandeep Warrier and R. Sonu Yadav have led the pace attack well.

With four teams having varying strengths and styles of play, the stage is set for an exciting finish to the tournament.

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