Tirunelveli, August 5: Lyca Kovai Kings displayed their bowling might as they defeated Siechem Madurai Panthers in the TNPL 2018 by eight wickets at the ICL Sankar Nagar ground in Tirunelveli on Saturday (August 4), after the toss was presided by the legendary MS Dhoni.
Choosing to bowl first, Kovai Kings ran through the batting line-up of Madurai Panthers and restricted them for 103/8 in the first innings. The Kovai Kings chased 104 comfortably to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Lyca Kovai Kings with the win finish at four wins from their seven matches and their fate depends on the results of Sunday's matches. The loss puts Madurai Panthers' spot in the top two in danger as iDream Karaikudi Kaalai can overtake them with a win on Sunday (August 5).
Madurai Panthers lost their most dependable batsman KB Arun Karthik in the first over itself. The Panthers then recorded the lowest Power Play score of the TNPL as they posted 25 for 3 in six overs.
Thalaivan Sargunam's run out in the 8th over sparked a collapse as the Kovai Kings kept chipping away with regular wickets and reduced the Panthers to 59 for 8 in 15 overs.
The unbeaten ninth wicket partnership of 44 (30) between J Kousik n.o. 32 (28b, 1x4, 2x6) and Varun Chakravathi n.o. 20 (15b, 2x4, 1x6) lifted the final score to 103 for 8 in 20 overs for the Panthers. K Vignesh took 2 for 23 while other four bowlers picked up a wicket each for the Kovai Kings.
Chasing 104 runs, Lyca Kovai Kings were never in danger despite losing captain Abhinav Mukund early. After Shahrukh Khan's 29 (24b, 3x4, 1x6), Ashwin Venkataraman n.o. 28 (29b, 2x4, 1x6) and R Rohith n.o. 34 (37, 3x4) guided the Kings to an eight-wicket victory.
Brief scores: Siechem Madurai Panthers: 103/8 in 20 overs (J Kousik 32 n.o, K Vignesh 2-23, T Natarajan 1-11) lost to Lyca Kovai Kings: 107/2 in 17.2 overs (R Rohith n.o. 34, Shahrukh Khan 29, Ashwin V n.o. 28, R Karthikeyan 1-16) by 8 wickets.