Madurai Panthers through to TNPL 2018 playoffs after 5 successive wins
Siechem Madurai Panthers made it five wins in a row and clinched a spot in the TNPL 2018 playoffs thanks to an unbeaten 85 from KB Arun Karthik. After an all-round bowling display, they dismissed Karaikudi Kaalai for 158 in 20 overs and they chased the target down with four wickets and 10 balls to spare.
Chasing 159 for victory, Madurai lost skipper Rohit early and were in trouble at the end of the powerplay. But a 63-run partnership for the fifth wicket between KB Arun Karthik and Shijit Chandran helped Madurai get over the line with ease and secure their spot in the playoffs and also ending Karaikudi's four-game winning streak.
After being sent into bat, Karaikudi had a curious innings on a pitch that wasn't exactly tailor-made for strokeplay thanks to the rain earlier in the day. Although they got off to a decent start, they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Anirudha Srikkanth, who top-scored for Kaalai, wasn't his usual self despite scoring 48. And Kaalai just failed to turn up at the death overs. At 125/4, they were perfectly placed but they made a mess of it towards. The last six wickets fell for just 26 runs as they were eventually bowled out for 158. That gave Madurai the momentum, which proved costly in the end.
Turning point: With four overs to go, Karaikudi were perfectly placed at 125/4 with two set batsmen at the crease. Instead of capitalizing on that and getting to a total close to 170, they were bowled out for 158, losing their last six wickets for just 26 runs.
Brief Scores: Karaikudi Kaalai 158 all out in 20 overs (Anirudha Srikkanth 48, V Aaditya 25, CV Varun 2/16, J Kousik 2/36, Kiran Akash 2/37, Abhishek Tanwar 2/37) lost to Siechem Madurai Panthers 162/6 in 18.2 overs (KB Arun Karthik 85*, Shijit Chandran 38, Yo Mahesh 2/33) by four wickets.
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Published 02 Aug 2018, 23:04 IST