The Nellai juggernaut rolled on at the SNR College Stadium in Coimbatore in match 19 of TNPL 2022. The Ruby Trichy Warriors were the latest to fall victim to the magnificent Nellai Royal Kings, who registered an authoritative 66-run win to seal their place in the playoffs.
It wasn't a bad start to the match for the Trichy Warriors, who opted to bowl after winning the toss. Rahil Shah and P Saravana Kumar picked off the openers during the powerplay, restricting Nellai to a modest 44/2 in six overs.
Baba Aparajith and Sanjay Yadav were at the crease, with the former on a nine-ball 14 and the latter having made only three runs off eight balls. The Trichy spinners bowled economically in the next three overs, but in the tenth over, all hell broke loose.
Sanjay Yadav took the lead as the Nellai Royal Kings began their rampage, with sixes flying everywhere. Only one of the last eleven overs went for less than double digits as the duo absolutely decimated the Trichy bowling. Their strategy to bowl the medium pacers on that surface didn't work out as the two batters made merry.
The last five overs went for a whopping 93 runs as the Nellai Royal Kings finished with a total of 236/2 from their 20 overs, with Sanjay Yadav scoring his maiden TNPL ton (103*) off 55 deliveries. Baba Aparajith put in a solid supporting act (92* off 48 balls). Their 207-run partnership for the third wicket and the total were both the highest-ever in TNPL history.
There was not much chance for Trichy after such a dismal bowling performance, but a certain Murali Vijay gave them hope. He set the tone in the very first over against Athisayaraj Davidson, which saw 22 runs being scored. He carried on despite wickets falling at the other end, completing an 18-ball fifty within the powerplay.
However, the lack of a partner to share the run-scoring burden hurt Trichy's chances as Vijay kept on waging a lone battle. A game-changing maiden wicket from NS Harish put Nellai firmly in the driver's seat, and there was only so much Vijay could do. In the end, he batted till the last ball of the innings, taking the Ruby Trichy Warriors to 170/7, scoring a whopping 121 runs himself.
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TNPL 2022 Updated Points Table
The massive defeat has dealt a huge blow to the qualification hopes of the Ruby Trichy Warriors. With only two matches remaining and a poor NRR, they need a miracle to make the playoffs. Meanwhile, Nellai continues scaling new heights this season, and they should comfortably finish top of the table at this rate.