TNPL 2018: Madurai Panthers close in on playoff berth after fourth successive win
Siechem Madurai Panthers made it four wins in a row in TNPL 2018 and inched closer to making their maiden appearance in the playoffs after comprehensively beating Ruby Trichy Warriors by five wickets with 10 balls to spare.
After winning the toss and electing to bowl first, Madurai surprised everyone but their decision was vindicated as they chase down 176 with consummate ease on the back of fifties from Thalaivan Sargunam and KB Arun Karthik.
The win marks a remarkable turnaround for Madurai who lost the first game of the season and hadn't won a game in TNPL but have now won four in a row and are in pole position to make it through to the playoffs with two games still to go for the side. The defeat now means that Trichy have not only lost three in a row but also have to depend on other sides to go through to the playoffs.
Chasing a big total, Madurai lost an early wicket but that brought Thala and KB to the crease and the pair added a century partnership for the second wicket and sent the Panthers on their way. Although Thala got out and there were a couple of wickets towards the end, Arun Karthik's unbeaten 80 saw his side home.
Earlier, Trichy's openers put on a fifty partnership to get them off to a good start but both openers departed in quick succession. After a period of quiet consolidation, Trichy got back on track thanks to Vasanth Saravanan and S Suresh Kumar.
The pair put on 92 for the fourth wicket, including 21 runs off the final over of the innings to propel them to 175/4 but that wasn't enough against the Madurai juggernaut who things difficult for the Warriors as they look to advance to the playoffs.
Brief scores: Ruby Trichy Warriors 175/4 in 20 overs (Vasanth Saravanan 52, S Suresh Kumar 42, Rahil Shah 3/27) lost to Siechem Madurai Panthers 176/5 in 18.2 overs (KB Arun Karthik 80*, Thalaivan Sargunam 70) by five wickets.
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