Sachin guides Kovai into consecutive finals
Chasing 194, Dindigul Dragons lost its opener Vimal Khumar and Shivam Singh cheaply. Vimal fell in the first over to Thamarai Kannan.
CHENNAI: B Sachin’s 70 and shrewd captaincy by Shahrukh Khan enabled Lyca Kovai Kings to defeat Dindigul Dragons by 30 runs in the Qualifier I of the TNPL played at Salem on Friday. With this win Kovai make it to the final to be played on Wednesday.
Chasing 194, Dindigul Dragons lost its opener Vimal Khumar and Shivam Singh cheaply. Vimal fell in the first over to Thamarai Kannan. A while later, Shivam fell to the guile of Shahrukh Khan. A lot rested upon Boopathi Kumar and B Indrajith to do the rescue act.
Boopathi, after a cameo, fell to the guile of J Subramanyan, stumped by Suresh Kumar. Shahrukh Khan kept shuffling his bowlers often. He rotated his spinners and medium-pacers in such a manner that Dindigul batters footwork was constantly put to test. This ploy worked as half the Dindugal team was in the dugout with just 58 runs on the board. At the time of going to print, they were 119/6 in 16 overs.
Earlier, put into bat Kovai Kings openers Sujay and Suresh could not convert their starts. But when the duo got out Kovai had put 57 runs on the board inside the powerplay. After that Sachin and Mukilesh stitched a wonderful partnership with 82 runs for the third wicket.
While Sachin made 70, Mukilesh mustered 44. This was the best phase for Kovai as both these youngsters played sensibly and did not panic under pressure. The next man was Shahrukh Khan and one expected fireworks from him. But he fell to Suboth Bhati who had earlier removed the well-set Sachin. Suboth Bhati was the most successful bowler for Dindigul as he picked up four wickets.
Later, Atheeq Rahman played a little cameo worth 19 runs off 10 balls with the help of four boundaries.
Brief scores: Lyca Kovai Kings 193/7 in 20 ovs (B Sachin 70, U Mukilesh 44, Subodh Bhati 4/37) bt Dindigul Dragons 163/9 in 20 ovs (Boopathi Kumar 25, Sarath Kumar 62, Thamarai Kannan 2/33, M Mohammed 3/26).