Powered by L. Suryapprakash’s unbeaten 32 (14b, 2x4, 3x6) Nellai Royal Kings beat Salem Spartans by five wickets in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) at the NPR cricket ground in Natham on Thursday.
With 26 needed off 11 balls, Salem captain Abhishek Tanwar seemingly couldn’t nail his attempted-yorkers. Suryapprakash hit a six to the cover boundary off a full-toss, again a six to deep midwicket off another full-toss, and a four to the square boundary off a wide, low full-toss, and picked up two runs in the penultimate ball of the penultimate over.
Left-hander Sugendhiran hit a six to the square boundary in the first ball of the last over bowled by medium-pacer Akash Sumra. A couple of singles from there took Nellai home.
Ajitesh had hit 38 off 26 balls with five fours and a six when he unfortunately suffered a sprain in his leg that seemed to hamper his batting. He scored only one of the next five balls before his top-edge was caught at gully off off-spinner Rajendran Karthikeyan.
The highlight of the rain-delayed and rain-interrupted first innings was Kaushik Gandhi’s batting (51, 43b, 5x4, 2x6). He seemed in sublime touch especially initially. He was this fluid through-the-covers shot-maker, for he hit four fours and a six through the covers.
It rained when Salem was on 115 for four in 16 overs. Nellai needed to get 129 in 16 overs when the match resumed.
The scores: Salem Spartans 115/4 in 16 overs (Kaushik Gandhi 51, Lakshay Jain 2/17) lost to Nellai Royal Kings 129/5 in 15.4 overs (G. Ajitesh 39, L. Suryapprakash 32 n.o., Abhishek Tanwar 2/30)
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