TNPL 2018: Shahrukh Khan's heroics seal Lyca Kovai Kings' second win
Ruby Trichy Warriors' unbeaten start in the 2018 TNPL comes to an end as they were handed an eight-wicket loss by Lyca Kovai Kings at the NPR college grounds in Natham, Dindigul.
After being put into bat first, S Ajith Ram removed Trichy skipper B Indrajith cheaply and that opened the floodgates for the Kovai bowlers. Abhinav Mukund's brilliant fielding had K Bharath Shankar run out at the non-striker's end for a 17-ball 24. A couple of balls later, debutant S Manigandan came on to bowl and got off to a dream debut in the TNPL.
He had S Aravind caught at deep mid-wicket with a long hop off his second ball in TNPL and castled wicketkeeper-batsman Mani Bharathy off the next ball to reduce Trichy to 42/4 after 6.3 overs. Trichy's hero from the previous match, Chandrasekhar Ganapathy failed to repeat his heroics as he fell in the very next over.
S Suresh Kumar and Sonu Yadav tried to pull things back on track by stitching together a 34-run partnership for the sixth wicket before Sonu perished for 21. Suresh waged a lone battle and made sure that his team crossed the 100-run mark. At the end of 20 overs, Ruby Tichy Warriors managed to score just 124 runs for the loss of nine wickets.
S Ajith Ram and S Manigandan picked two wickets apiece while K Vignesh, T Natarajan and MP Rajesh took one wicket each.
Chasing 125 was always going to be easy for Lyca Kovai Kings on a wicket that has been assisting the batsmen. Shahrukh Khan got them off to a flier as he went all guns blazing inside the powerplay. He reached his fifty off 30 balls before he was departed for 67 off 40 balls with the help of eight fours and three sixes.
His dismissal made way for a verbal argument between him and the bowler, D Tamil Kumaran before Kovai skipper Abhinav Mukund had to intervene to settle things down. Abhinav's unbeaten 42 made sure that Kovai chased down the total with ease, registering a nine-wicket win with more than six overs to spare.
Turning point: Ruby Trichy Warriors losing three wickets (Bharath Shankar, S Aravind and Mani Bharathy) in five balls took the game away from them and they couldn't stage a comeback since then.
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