TNPL 2023: Kovai Kings crowned champions

Shahrukh Khan's golden arm too fetched three wickets that of KB Arun Karthik, Nidhish Rajagopal M Poiyamozhi.

Published: 13th July 2023 12:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th July 2023 12:56 AM   |  A+A-

Kings. Kovai Kings! (Photo | V Karthik Alagu, EPS)

Kings. Kovai Kings! (Photo | V Karthik Alagu, EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Half-centuries by Suresh Kumar (57), U Mukilesh (51 n.o.), Atheeq (50) and Shahrukh Khan's shrewd captaincy ensured a 104-run win for Lyca Kovai Kings over Nellai Royal Kings in the TNPL final played at Tirunelveli on Wednesday evening.

Shahrukh Khan's golden arm too fetched three wickets that of KB Arun Karthik, Nidhish Rajagopal M Poiyamozhi. In a T20 game, chasing a 200-plus total pressure is bound to be there. But Nellai lost the plot when they conceded about 100 odd runs in the last ten overs to Kovai.
Chasing 206 for win, Kovai's hopes evaporated once Ajitesh Guruswamay (1) was castled by a peach of a delivery from M Siddharth. Ajitesh was one player that Nellai was looking forward to putting up a big score. But he caved in under pressure.
Later, when Shahrukh Khan castled KB Arun Karthik, inducing the right hander to play against the spin and miss the line, it was a virtual march past as one by one Nellai batters failed. J Subramanyan was the pick of Kovai bowlers bagging four wickets.
Earlier, opting to bat, Lyca Kovai Kings got off to a poor start losing opener Sujay in the very second over to Sandeep Warrier, trapped right in front. Now Suresh Kumar and B Sachin came together, wanted to stay positive and showed some intent. But  Sachin could not last long. He miscued a short delivery from Sandeep Warrier to Mohan Prasath at mid-wicket.

This was a severe setback for Kovai as they got to make only 46 runs in the power play.

After that Suresh (57)  and U Mukilesh forged a good stand worth 71 runs for the third wicket. Both complimented each other with their stroke play and presence of mind. The duo's resolve put Kovai back on track. Although Shahrukh Khan disappointed, Atheeq Ur Rahman made up for that with a brilliant 50 off just 21 balls.
Mukilesh and Atheeq took risks and played to the merit of the ball and thus runs flowed from the meat of the blade. They played the Nellai spinners with ease and ensured the run rate did not dip in the last 10 overs. Atheeq's effort ensured Kovai to breach the 200-run mark.

''I was always ready for this. I knew my knock would come in a crucial situation, happy that it came in the final. I get in (ground) , wait for the loose balls and then try to put it away. The plan was to take the game deeper and finish it well,'' said Mukilesh after his unbeaten 51.

Nellai captain Arun Karthik must have been a disappointed man for in the last 10 overs his players dropped many catches and fumbled a lot on the field. After Sandeep Warrier set them up with two early wickets and Mohan Prasath accounted for Shahrukh Khan, they left the other Kovai batters off the hook.
Brief scores: Lyca Kovai Kings 205/5 in 20 ovs (Suresh Kumar 57, U Mukilesh 51 n.o. Atheeq 50, Sonu Yadav 2/43, Sandeep Warrier 2/39) beat Nellai Royal Kings  101 all out in 15 ovs (KB Arun Karthik 27, J Subramanyan 4/ 21, Shahrukh Khan 3/16).

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