Dindigul, August 11: Siechem Madurai Panthers secured a final appearance in the 2018 Sankar Cement-TNPL final as KB Arun Karthik with an unbeaten 79 starred in their victory over Lyca Kovai Kings in Qualifier 2 at the NPR College ground in Natham (Dindigul) on Friday (August 10).
Top two sides from the league stage will square off against each other in their first-ever final as Madurai Panthers will once again face the challenge of Dindigul Dragons at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai, on Sunday, (August 12).
Chasing 126 runs against an in-form Kovai Kings' bowling attack, the Panthers lost their first two wickets within the Powerplay. KB Arun Karthik, however, stood resolutely at the crease and accelerated at the right moments to clinch a famous win for the team.
Two first time #TNPL finalists in @DindigulDragons and @maduraipanthers will square off in Sunday's final!— TNPL (@TNPremierLeague) August 11, 2018
PREVIEW ➡️ https://t.co/CKjQaC2OW6 #DDvSMP #NammaOoruNammaGethu #TNPLfinal #TNPL2018 pic.twitter.com/2XLyOLVJsl
Finishing the chase for the team, KB Arun Karthik played a scintillating unbeaten inning of 79 (56b, 8x4, 4x6). Captain Rohit D played the supporting role with a steady knock 30 (37b, 2x4).
Earlier in the night, choosing to bat first in the all-important clash, the Kovai Kings slipped to 11-2 in the third over with the medium pacer Abhishek Tanwar taking both the wickets. The remaining inning of the Kovai Kings was dominated by two crucial partnerships.
Captain Abhinav Mukund 28(30b,3x4) added 49 runs in 53 balls for the third wicket partnership with Ashwin Venkataraman 45(50b,4x4,1x6), the latter further constructed a stand of 57(45b) for the fifth wicket with MP Rajesh 29(24b, 2x4, 1x6).
The Panthers then snared three wickets in the final over to halt the Kovai Kings for 125/7 in 20 overs.
Brief Scores: Lyca Kovai Kings: 125/7 in 20 overs (A Venkataraman 45, MP Rajesh 29, A Mukund 28, Abhishek Tanwar 3-28) lost to Siechem Madurai Panthers: 131/3 in 18.2 overs (KB Arun Karthik n.o. 79, Rohit D 30, R Mithun 1-15) by 7 wickets.