An 111-run partnership for the second wicket between opener J. Suresh Kumar (64, 43b, 3x4, 4x6) and B. Sai Sudharsan (56 n.o., 43b, 6x4, 1x6) helped Lyca Kovai Kings register a comfortable eight-wicket win over Salem Spartans in the Shriram Capital-TNPL at the NPR College grounds in Natham (Dindigul district) on Wednesday.
Chasing 147, the duo came together at the fall of V. Ganga Sridhar Raju with the score on 14 in the third over. Suresh and Sudharsan ensured that the asking rate was under control right through their 74-ball association.
Spartans’ skipper M. Ashwin took an excellent return catch to dismiss Suresh in the 15th over, but it was too late as Kovai Kings romped home with 21 balls to spare.
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Earlier, after a double-wicket maiden by Kovai Kings’ seamer K. Vignesh in the second over, opener K.H. Gopinath (41, 18b, 3x4, 4x6) put the Spartans innings back on the rails with a counter-attack. The next two overs, bowled by Abhishek Tanwar and Vignesh, went for 45 runs with Gopinath smashing two sixes and three fours.
Leg-spinner B. Surya broke the quickfire partnership (53 off 21 balls) between Gopinath and No. 4 Akshay Srinivasan. He dismissed the latter in the sixth over before Gopinath holed out in the deep off left-arm spinner Ajith Ram in the seventh. Soon, Daryl Ferrario fell to Surya as Spartans were reduced to 68 for five.
However, Ashwin and Pranav Kumar steadied the innings, adding 56 off 54 balls for the sixth wicket. Surya, who removed Ashwin in the 17th over, finished with three for 14. Tanwar struck thrice in the final over to further peg back Spartans.
Chepauk Super Gillies scripts first win
In the second match of the day, defending champion Chepauk Super Gillies scripted its first win of the season defeating Ruby Trichy Warriors by 44 runs.
Super Gillies, put in to bat, rode on a brilliant 117-run stand off 65 balls for the third wicket between S. Radhakrishnan and U. Sasidev. The former was the primary aggressor, smashing a 49-ball 81 with eight fours and four sixes.
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Sasidev (65, 35b, 3x4, 5x6) struck three sixes and a four off M. Poiyamozhi in the 17th over to notch up his half-century before Ajay K. Krishna castled Radhakrishnan in the next over. After being hit for 14 by R. Sathish in the first three balls of the 19th over, Poiyamozhi bounced back scalping a hat-trick, taking out Sathish, S. Harish Kumar and R. Sonu Yadav.
Though Sasidev and M. Siddharth fell in the final over, Super Gillies went past the 200-mark.
In reply, openers V.P. Amit Sathvik and S. Santosh Shiv (59, 38b, 8x4, 2x6) kept Trichy Warriors in the hunt with an 87-run stand off 59 balls. But after their dismissal, the team lost its way and fell short of the target of 204 by a distance.
Salem Spartans 146/9 in 20 overs (K.H. Gopinath 41, M. Ashwin 31, Pranav Kumar 32, Abhishek Tanwar 3/39, K. Vignesh 2/35, B. Surya 3/14) lost to
Lyca Kovai Kings 149/2 in 16.3 overs (J. Suresh Kumar 64, B. Sai Sudharsan 56 n.o.). MoM: Suresh Kumar.
Chepauk Super Gillies 203/8 in 20 overs (S. Radhakrishnan 81, U. Sasidev 65, Ajay K. Krishna 3/33, M. Poiyamozhi 3/60, incl. a hat-trick) bt Ruby Trichy
Warriors 159/6 in 20 overs (V.P. Amit Sathvik 33, S. Santosh Shiv 59, R. Alexander 2/19, S. Harish Kumar 3/25); MoM: Radhakrishnan.
Today's match: Dindigul Dragons vs. Siechem Madurai Panthers (7.15 p.m.).