TNPL 2019: Murali Vijay's knock in vain, Karaikudi clinches thriller in Super Over

India international Murali Vijay's heroics with the bat went in vain as Karaikudi Kaalai held their nerves to beat Ruby Trichy Warriors in Super Over.

Karaikudi Kaalai players celebrate after beating Ruby Trichy Warriors.   -  G. Karthikeyan

Skipper Srikkanth Anirudha's two hits over the fence in the Super Over helped Karaikudi Kaalai win a thriller against Ruby Trichy Warriors in a Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) match at the NPR College grounds in Natham on Saturday.

Chasing 12 runs in the Super Over, after the match ended in a tie, Kaalai scored 13 in just four balls.

Earlier, put in to bat, Kaalai lost opener V. Aaditya in the first over caught one-handed by L. Vignesh off his own bowling.

L. Suryapprakash joined Anirudha (58, 36b, 7x4, 3x6) in the middle and the duo kept the scoreboard ticking at a steady pace. They put on 28 runs before the former edged one to wicket-keeper Mani Bharathy off Saravana Kumar in the final over of the PowerPlay, with the score on 31.

Anirudha cut loose from here. He hit boundaries at will and notched up his half-century in 32 balls. Just when Anirudha looked well set, he was castled by left-arm spinner R. Sai Kishore.

However, his 57-run partnership with R. Srinivasan (37 n.o., 32b, 1x4, 2x6) provided a solid platform for Kaalai.

Srinivasan and Maan K. Bafna kept the momentum flowing with a 43-run stand for the fourth wicket before R. Rajkumar's unbeaten 28 off 13 balls, which included three sixes, helped Kaalai post a competitive 171 on the board.

In reply, Warriors managed 40 for one in the PowerPlay overs. But, with Kaalai bowlers keeping it tight the asking rate kept increasing. To add woes, V. Lakshman's superb one-handed catch off his own bowling to dismiss Maaruthi Raghav in the 12th over, with the score on 75, added more pressure.

India international Murali Vijay (81, 56b, 7x4,3x6), who was dropped on five, was dealing in ones and twos, before his big hitting brought Warriors back into the game.

Murali Vijay lines up to play a shot during his knock of 81.   -  G. Karthikeyan


However, Sunil Sam's double strike - dismissing Vijay and Ganapathi Chandrasekar in the 19th over - reduced Warriors to 156 for five. With 11 runs needed off the final over, Warriors could score only 10 as the match had to be decided by Super Over.

Madurai Panthers off to winning start

In the other match of the day, defending champion Siechem Madurai Panthers opened its campaign with a comfortable nine-wicket win over former champion Tuti Patriots.

Opting to bat, Patriots failed to capitalise on a 74-run partnership for the second wicket between Akshay V. Srinivasan (55, 41b, 3x4, 3x6) and V. Subramania Siva to end up posting a modest 124 for eight.

L. Kiran Akash and R. Mithun scalped three wickets apiece for Panthers.

Chasing 125, Panthers knocked off the required runs in 12.2 overs, losing just one wicket. Skipper K.B. Arun Karthick (65 n.o., 42b, 7x4, 3x6) and A. Sarathraj stitched together a 95-run partnership for the opening wicket.   

Brief scores:

Match 1: Karaikudi Kaalai 171 for five in 20 overs (S. Anirudha 58, R. Srinivasan 37 n.o., Maan K.Bafna 30, R. Rajkumar 28 n.o., P. Saravana Kumar three for 32) vs Ruby Trichy Warriors 171 for five in 20 overs (M. Vijay 81, Sunil Sam two for 42). Result: Match Tied. Super Over: Warriors 11 for two in one over lost to Kaalai 13 for no loss in 0.4 over.

Match 2: Tuti Patriots 124 for eight in 20 overs (Akshay V. Srinivasan 55, V. Subramania Siva 28, L. Kiran Akash three for 16, R. Mithun three for 17) lost to Siechem Madurai Panthers 128 for one in 12.2 overs (K.B. Arun Karthick 65 n.o., A. Sarathraj 33)

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