A Super Over was needed to separate Ruby Kanchi Warriors (RKW) and Lyca Kovai Kings (LKK) after both scored slow, ran between the wickets poorly and fumbled on the field. RKW’s R. Jesuraj defended 14 in the last over with Murali Vijay failing to score a six off the last ball.
Needing 127 runs to win, RKW started the chase poorly and was two batsmen short after the first two overs. Bharat Shankar and Shahrukh Khan fell without scoring, mistiming pull shots. A. C. Pradeepan, who followed, stayed for 10 balls, with his square cut off B. Arun finding Akshay Srinivasan at point. Six overs into the chase, RKW was tottering at 28 for three.
R. Nilesh Subramanian (49 off 42), however, was unhurried, leaving a few balls, steering some for singles and striking four boundaries. He put on 66 runs for the sixth wicket with his skipper Baba Indrajith, who remained unbeaten on 31.
“Others seemed to hurry a lot, but I knew that I had a lot of time. I just waited to play my shots,” said Nilesh after the match.
Vijay and Laxmesha Suryaprakash opened the innings after Indrajith asked them to bat after the toss, probably prompted by a steady shower that preceded the match. The bowlers offered little leeway. The wet outfield dampened the strokes and the powerplay yielded just 29 runs.
Vijay (24 off 28), playing his first competitive match after a month, sparkled on occasion. He drove J. Kaushik through the covers to score Kovai Kings’ first boundary in the first ball of the sixth over. The second ball - slow and short - was pulled over the midwicket boundary. Kaushik, however, got rid of Vijay in the tenth over when his back foot, moving deep inside the crease for a leg-glance, clipped the leg-stump.
With the score at 50 for 3 after 10 overs, B. Anirudh Sita Ram (39 off 34) and S. Harish Kumar (26 off 16) roused the run-rate, scoring 43 runs off 30 balls for the fourth wicket. Anirudh treated the crowd with the first six of the match as he hoisted Kousik over deep-midwicket.
The partnership ended and a series of reckless running began in the 15th over. Harish, skipper Syed Mohammed (1 off 5) and M. K. Sivakumar (1 off 3) were run out in the space of three overs, clipping the momentum of the innings, which hobbled to 126 for 7 at the end of the alloted 20 overs.
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