Madurai Panthers enter maiden TNPL final after beating Lyca Kovai Kings
On the back of KB Arun Karthick's fifth fifty of TNPL 2018 and an excellent bowling performance, Siechem Madurai Panthers beat Lyca Kovai Kings to reach the TNPL 2018 final. In doing so, they also defeated Kovai for the first time and reached their maiden TNPL final where they will face Dindigul Dragons on Sunday.
In a low-scoring encounter dominated by the bowlers, Arun Karthik, who is now the leading run-getter in this year's edition, saw his side over the line with an unbeaten 79. A crucial 76-run partnership for the third wicket with captain D Rohit was enough for Madurai to get over the line with 10 balls to spare.
Chasing 126 for victory, Madurai lost two wickets in the powerplay but they had KB still at the crease. Kovai Kings bowlers were economical at the start but just couldn't pick up wickets and a dropped catch didn't help their cause as well. KB slapped one straight to MP Rajesh at mid-off but the fielder made a mess of it and that ended up costing his side the game.
Earlier, Kovai won the toss and elected to bat first. But they got off to the worst possible start as both Shahrukh Khan and R Rohith were dismissed inside the first three overs. They never really got going after that as they lost wickets at regular intervals.
It took a 57-run stand for the fifth wicket between Ashwin Venkataraman and Rajesh MP to help them cross 100 but they couldn't even provide the final flourish as Kovai stuttered and stumbled to 125/7.
In the end, that just wasn't enough as Madurai beat Kovai, who have now failed to make the final after making the playoffs in every season so far.
Brief Scores: Siechem Madurai Panthers 131/3 in 18.2 overs (KB Arun Karthik 79*, D Rohit 30) beat Lyca Kovai Kings 125/7 in 20 overs (Ashwin Venkataram 45, MP Rajesh 29, Abhinav Mukund 28, Abhishek Tanwar 3/28) by seven wickets.
For more TNPL related news, log on to www.tnca.in