CHENNAI : Winless in the first two editions, Siechem Madurai Panthers made it to the Tamil Nadu Premier League final on Friday. In Qualifier 2 at Natham, they beat Lyca Kovai Kings by seven wickets. They will meet Dindigul Dragons in the final in Chennai on August 12. The win was set up by Madurai’s bowlers, who restricted the Kovai side to 125/7 in 20 overs. Opening bowler Abhishek Tanwar took two wickets in his first two overs. Although Abhinav Mukund and Ashwin Venkataraman added 49 for the third wicket, the run rate was never imposing. There was another partnership, of 57 between Ashwin and MP Rajesh. But run rate remained a problem throughout the innings.
Opener KB Arun Karthik led the batting charge of Madurai, hitting an unbeaten 79 off 56 balls with eight fours and four sixes. D Rohit provided good support with a 37-ball 30. They reached the target in 18.2 overs. From being the whipping boys in the first two seasons, this has been a dream turnaround by the Madurai team. One more win will complete a fairy tale campaign.Brief scores: Qualifier 2: Lyca Kovai Kings 125/7 in 20 ovs (Venkataraman 45; Tanwar 3/28) lost to Siechem Madurai Panthers 131/3 in 18.2 ovs (Karthik n.o 79).