TNPL 2018: Karaikudi Kaalai clinch last-over thriller over Trichy Warriors
The stench of defeat from a super over loss in their opening game of TNPL 2018 has now been washed away from three successive wins for iDream Karaikudi Kaalai, the latest of which came against Ruby Trichy Warriors by one wicket at Tirunelveli.
Chasing 115 for victory, captain Anirudha Srikkanth did the bulk of the scoring once again but he fell short of his third consecutive fifty in TNPL 2018. But he did become the fifth player to cross 600 runs in the tournament after N Jagadeesan, Kaushik Gandhi, Baba Aparajith and KH Gopinath.
After the two openers nearly put on fifty for the opening wicket, Kaalai took their time and it nearly cost them as they lost wickets in a hurry. Despite a middle-order collapse from Kaalai courtesy of Suresh Kumar's three-fer, Kaalai got over the line thanks to Yo Mahesh, who held his nerve and hit the winning runs off the penultimate ball of the 20th over.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Ruby Trichy Warriors got off to the worst possible start as they lost both openers in the space of three balls. First, it was Bharath Shankar, who chopped one onto his stumps. Then Indrajith was stumped by Kavin and that set the tone for the powerplay and the innings.
Vasanth Saravanan hit a couple of boundaries but he was bowled by a full ball from Rajkumar R. Two wickets then fell off the final over of the powerplay, including that of Ganapathi Chandrasekhar as they ended the powerplay on 44/5.
It took a patient seventh-wicket partnership of 35 between Suresh Kumar and Mani Bharathy to get them close to a 100 but two wickets in two balls almost made that impossible. But No.10 Sanjay MS, who hit the only two sixes of the Trichy innings, top-scored with an unbeaten 28 and was there till the end as they were bowled out for 114 with a ball left. It was always going to be too little and so it proved.
Turning point: In a game of such fine margins, you cannot exactly drop catches. Especially not two in the space of two balls, not when one of them is Yo Mahesh, who ends up scoring the winning runs. But that is what happened in the 18th over.
Brief scores: Ruby Trichy Warriors 114 all out in 19.5 overs (MS Sanjay 28*, S Mohan Prasath 3/23, R Rajkumar 2/21, Yo Mahesh 2/25) lost to iDream Karaikudi Kaalai 115/9 in 19.5 overs (Anirudha Srikkanth 41, Suresh Kumar 3/12, Sonu Yadav 2/29) by one wicket.
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