TNPL 2017: Kovai Kings win off unreal last ball drama
Skipper Murali Vijay made a thumping comeback to cricket after a five-week injury layoff.
Murali Vijay's Kovai Kings snatched an unprecedented victory from the Thiruvallur Veerans at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai yesterday (August 12). The game bore witness to the most dramatic finish in this edition of the TNPL and kept the fans on the edge of their seats till the very last delivery was bowled.
Kovai Kings needed 5 runs off the last delivery to chase the mammoth target of 197 set up by the Thiruvallur Veerans. Abhishek Tanwar, who had scored a swashbuckling half-century in the first innings, was the bowler.
He followed the batsman, Sita Ram, and bowled a yorker right into his feet. The batsman could not read it and was barely able to get bat on ball. It was all over for the Kovai Kings.
Only, it was not.
The umpire's signaled that the delivery was a no-ball. It was a controversial decision and it looked like some part of Tanwar's shoe was behind the crease in the replay that followed. Ram hung his head in disappointment, but after he looked up, he saw the image of the non-striker charging towards him paired with the umpire's no ball signal.
It looked like life was suddenly injected into the right-hander, as he sprinted down the pitch to complete the run. The wicket-keeper shied at the stumps at the non-striker's end, but he not only missed the direct hit but also ended up conceding an extra run courtesy an overthrow!
As a result, the Kovai Kings needed to score just 2 runs and that too, on a free-hit.
The last delivery was whipped to long-on by Ram and the fielder made a mess of it. The batsmen ran two runs and won the match for their team in the most dramatic fashion. There was an appeal for a run-out at the non-striker's end, but Ram was in my a country-mile.
The chase was set up by Vijay, who scored a scintillating half-century in his first match after five weeks. He was recovering from a wrist injury, but that did not stop him from scoring a 69 off just 44 deliveries.
You can watch the thrilling last-ball finish here.
This victory has kept their hopes alive for the playoffs spot. It remains to see if Vijay can lead his team from the front like he did in this game and manage to pull them over line with performances like these.