Defending champion Lyca Kovai Kings reached the summit clash of the seventh edition of the TNPL (Tamil Nadu Premier League) with a 30-run win over Dindigul Dragons in the first qualifier here at the Salem Cricket Foundation Ground on Friday.
Put in to bat, Kovai Kings posted a formidable 193 for seven, riding on a superb half-century from B. Sachin (70, 46b, 7x4, 2x6). It was the young left-hander’s second consecutive half-century, and he has slotted into the role vacated by B. Sai Sudharsan with aplomb.
In reply, Dragons’ chase never got going and they lost half their side by the 10th over with just 58 on the board. Just when it looked like it was curtains for Dragons, Impact Player C. Sarath Kumar (62, 26b, 1x4, 8x6) put on a brilliant display of power-hitting, racing to his half-century in just 18 balls as he dispatched the Kovai Kings spinners outside the park with disdain. However, Sarath was left to do too much and a brilliant 19th over from Gowtham Thamarai Kannan, with four dot balls, sealed the game for Kovai Kings.
Earlier, the 19-year-old Sachin showed his class with a hat-trick of boundaries off pacer G. Kishoor in the sixth over. He started by guiding one through point before cracking a cover-drive and then cut one over-slip as Kovai Kings finished the PowerPlay strongly with 57 for two on the board.
Sachin got a reprieve when he was on 17 when Subodh Bhati dropped a sitter off Kishoor at square leg, and the youngster made the Dragons pay the price for the folly as he stitched an 82-run stand with U. Mukilesh (44) for the third wicket.
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