In what was a crucial game of TNPL 2022 for both teams, the Lyca Kovai Kings and the Ruby Trichy Warriors faced off in the second match of a doubleheader on Sunday, at the SNR College Ground in Coimbatore. It was the home side that walked away with the points, thanks to a terrific display of death bowling.
Kovai skipper Shahrukh Khan chose to field first after winning the toss, but the Ruby Trichy Warriors didn't seem to mind batting first. Amit Sathvik and Santhosh Shiv got them off to a decent start before Shahrukh dismissed the former in the fifth over.
He also dismissed Nidish Rajagopal in his next. At the fall of that wicket, in walked Murali Vijay.
He smashed his way to a 24-ball half-century, dominating the LKK bowlers in the middle overs. Despite losing a couple of wickets, Trichy was in a strong position at 119/4 in 15 overs.
However, the resurgent home side rallied together to deliver one of the best death bowling displays of the tournament. Abhishek Tanwar led their charge in his second spell, picking up three wickets (including Vijay's) in his last two overs, conceding only nine runs.
With R Divakar also keeping things tight, LKK bowled their opponents out for 135 with three balls to spare, setting a sub-par target of 136.
The positive approach in their powerplay made things easy for the Kovai Kings, who ended the first six overs with 58 runs on the board. While their batters looked scratchy and didn't have great strike rates, the Trichy bowlers reduced what was already a small target by bowling plenty of extras.
In the end, Sai Sudharsan and Shahrukh Khan's partnership steadied the team enough to cross the finish line with little trouble. It was a sloppy bowling performance from most of the Trichy bowlers, with M Mathivannan the only exception despite his last over.
Abhishek Tanwar won the 'Player of the Match' award for his bowling display in this TNPL match.
TNPL 2022 Updated Points Table
Their second win in four games of TNPL 2022 so far sends the Kovai Kings to the third position, behind only the Madurai Panthers and the Nellai Royal Kings. The positive NRR is also a good sign for Shahrukh Khan and Co.
As for the Ruby Trichy Warriors, that loss takes them below the Tiruppur Tamizhans due to NRR, which is a worrying sign for them.