TNPL 2022: Kousik shines as Madurai thump Trichy in final league match

Defending a modest target of 136, Panthers bowlers never allowed the Warriors to get into the game at any point and bundled them for 100.

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Defending a modest target of 136, Panthers bowlers never allowed the Warriors to get into the game at any point and bundled them for 100.

J. Kousik’s brilliant spell of 4 for 15 helped Siechem Madurai Panthers finish off the league stage in style with a commanding 36-run win over Ruby Trichy Warriors at the Salem Cricket Foundation ground on Sunday.

Defending a modest target of 136, Panthers bowlers never allowed the Warriors to get into the game at any point. For Warriors, only opener Santosh Shiv was able to find the boundaries as he drove well through the off-side in his knock of 31 but lacked support from the other batters. 

Earlier asked to bat first, the Panthers’ innings stuttered to 136/6 after B. Anirudh and V. Aaditya laid a good foundation with a 58-run stand for the second wicket.

Anirudh looked in serene touch and started with a huge six down the ground against M. Poiyamozhi. The left-hander then used his feet to good effect to hit off-spinner Atheeq ur Rahman for a six and four in one over.

Anirudh looked good for a big one until misfortune struck when a powerful hit from Aaditya deflected off Atheeq’s fingers onto the stumps at the non-striker end and found him just short of the crease.

Panthers lost the next three wickets for just six runs before skipper N.S. Chaturved and Kousik (22) steadied with a 35-run stand for the fifth wicket stand but managed only one boundary between them.

In the last over, Sunny Sandhu (24 n.o., 8b, 1x4, 3x6) launched into pacer Ajay Krishna hitting him for three sixes and a boundary to help his side get to a fighting total.  

Sandhu also chipped in with a tidy spell (1/5) from his three overs to ensure Panthers will go into the eliminator clash against Lyca Kovai Kings on Tuesday with a good win under its belt.

In the final league match, Salem Spartans gave the home crowd something to cheer for by getting its first win of the season as it beat Dindigul Dragons by 18 runs. 

Electing to bat, Spartans made just 124/8 before pacer G. Periyasamy (3/11) set the tone with two wickets off the first two balls of the innings. Later, skipper M. Ashwin (2/16) chipped in with two crucial wickets of Vivek Raj and R. Vimal Khumar (43) to help Spartans defend a modest total.

The scores: Siechem Madurai Panthers 136/6 in 20 overs (B. Anirudh 34, M Poiyamozhi 2/24) bt Ruby Trichy Warriors 100 in 18.4 overs (Santosh Shiv 31, J. Kousik 4/15, Kiran Akash 2/22, Varun Chakravarthy 2/24).

Brief scores: Salem Spartans 124/8 in 20 overs (Daryl Ferrario 38, Vivek Raj 2/25, M Silambarasan 2/28) vs Dindigul Dragons 106/9 in 20 overs (R. Vimal Khumar 43, G. Periyasamy 3/11, M. Ashwin 2/16,  Rajendran Karthikeyan 2/19).

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