After four successive losses, VB Kanchi Veerans finally opened their account in TNPL 2018 courtesy of their 14-run win over high-flying Lyca Kovai Kings at Tirunelveli. An unbeaten 41 from captain Baba Aparajith and an excellent spell by their spinners led by Aushik Srinivas meant that the defending Champions Chepauk Super Gillies are the only side to remain winless this season.
Chasing 117 for victory, Lyca Kovai Kings could only manage 102/9 in their 20 overs. Aushik Srinivas got rid of captain Abhinav Mukund and Shahrukh Khan in the space of three balls and turned the chase on its head. Kovai didn't really recover from that as no one barring Ashwin Venkatraman could really rotate the strike and keep the chase going.
When he was dismissed off the last ball of the 18th over, Kovai's last hope went along with him. Eventually, they managed to not get bowled out and crawl past 100 to ensure minimal damage to their net run rate despite the loss.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, things didn't exactly go according to plan for the Kanchi Veerans. They lost opener Siddarth S in the second over and although K Deeban and Arun S steadied the ship, the pair put only 36 before the former was dismissed.
Then came the regular fall of wickets that made captain Baba Aparajith's job of going after the bowlers almost impossible. But he was there till the end, even as the wickets kept falling and finished unbeaten on 41. His runs towards the end proved to be the difference between the two sides as the Veerans finally got on the board in this year's TNPL.
Turning point of the game: Aushik Srinivas' first over changed the entire complexion of the game as he got rid of both Kovai Kings opener in the space of three balls. First, it was skipper Abhinav Mukund then it was the tournament's leading run-getter two balls later. Kovai never really recovered from that.
Brief scores: VB Kanchi Veerans 116/8 in 20 overs (Baba Aparajith 41*, S Arun 29, Ajith Ram 3/16, T Natarajan 1/9) beat Lyca Kovai Kings 101/9 in 20 overs (Ashwin Venkatraman 35, Aushik Srinivas 2/2) by five wickets.
For more TNPL related news, visit www.tnca.inPublished 29 Jul 2018, 22:39 IST