Defending champion Lyca Kovai Kings thrashed Salem Spartans by 79 runs and secured a place in the playoffs of the TNPL with its fifth win of the season here at the Salem Cricket Foundation Ground on Tuesday.
Put into bat, Kovai Kings posted 199 for eight with S. Sujay (44) and B. Sai Sudharsan (41) setting the platform by stitching a 75-run stand for the second wicket.
Later, Ram Arvindh (50 n.o., 22b, 2x4, 5x6) gave the perfect finish with a sensational unbeaten half-century to propel his side to an above-par score.
In reply, the Spartans’ chase went off the rails immediately as pacer K. Gowtham Thamarai Kannan ran through the top order, taking three wickets to reduce the Salem side to 28 for four.
Sunny Sandhu and Muhammed Adnan Khan entertained the partisan crowd with a few sixes, but the match was beyond them by that point.
Earlier, Sai showed he is in the form of his life by starting with a copybook on-drive off Abhishek Tanwar from the first ball he faced before flicking Sunny Sandhu majestically.
Then he hit two of the best shots of the day, off Akash Sumra, first a beautiful cover drive and then whipping a rising delivery between midwicket and long-on.
After Sai’s dismissal, Kovai Kings stuttered slightly, going from 90 for one to 106 for four.
But Ram Arvindh and the left-handed Atheeq Ur Rahman (31, 18b) went after the Spartans bowlers to keep the momentum going.
Arvindh started by lofting Akash Sumra over long-off with panache, hitting through the line before showing his wide range of strokes.
In the final over, he carved Tanwar’s wide yorker over deep point before swatting two more hits over mid-wicket and raced to his half-century. The 21-run over ensured Kovai Kings put the match beyond the Spartans.
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