About the Match
Karaikudi Kaalai and Lyca Kovai Kings will fight it out for a spot in the semi-finals of the Tamil Nadu Premier League, on 16th August at Dindigul. While Karaikudi Kaalai finished 3rd with 8 points, Lyca Kovai Kings managed to come 4th with the same number of points. The Kovai Kings have been on a winning roll, having defeated Veerans and Ruby Trichy Warriors in consecutive games. Kaalai also has done well recently, defeating Warriors and Dindigul Dragons and they will be in high morale to make it through to the next stage. It needs to be seen which team will overcome the challenges on field and emerge victorious on Wednesday.
Chasing 191 against Warriors, openers Srikkanth Anirudha and Vishal Vaidhya set a solid foundation with Vaidhya scoring 40 off just 19 balls and Anirudha posting a well-made 60.
Shajahan also contributed well with an unbeaten 39 while Ganapathy scored 20 off just 9 to steer the team towards victory. Earlier, bowlers Shajahan and Sunil Sam took a wicket each but they couldn’t stop the opponents from posting a huge target.
Batting first against Dindigul Dragons, Vishal Vaidhya scored 41 runs but others down the line fell quickly; captain S Badrinath and Shajahan contributed with 20+ runs but they could muster only 150 runs in the end. Spinner Mohan Prasath then took a splendid 4-22 while medium-pacer Chandrasekar Ganapathy claimed 2 wickets to stifle the opponent’s chase and help win the match by 7 runs.
They have a well-balanced spin and pace attack with speedsters like Rajkumar, Ganapathy and Sonu Yadav, and spinners Mohan Prasath and Suresh Babu, who have been consistently taking wickets. With an in-form batting unit and determined bowling attack, Karaikudi Kaalai could surely win here.
Lyca Kovai Kings
Fast-bowler Harish Kumar’s superb 4-wicket haul at an economy of just over 7 runs per over, helped them restrict Ruby Trichy Warriors to 134 runs. Medium-pacer Krishnamoorthy Vignesh claimed 2-18 while spinner B Arun also provided a good breakthrough to contain the Warriors. Chasing 135 was easy thanks to Anirudh Sita Ram’s 44 off 41 and good contributions by Akshay Srinivasan and Suryaprakash. They won the match by 7 wickets after an all-round performance with bat and ball.
Chasing 197 runs against Veerans was a tough task but they successfully reached the target after captain Murali Vijay led from the front with a superb 69 off 44 and Anirudh Sita Ram’s unbeaten 69. Akshay Srinivas also posted a useful knock by scoring 38 off 24, and they won the match by 7 wickets. Earlier, spinner Ajith Ram, medium pacers Vignesh and Siva Kumar took 2 wickets each but they ended up giving too many runs leading to the huge target of 197.
They have been winning matches recently and will be motivated to cross this hurdle on Wednesday. With good resources in hand and a clever strategy against Kaalai, they could well make it through.
It could be anybody’s game in the TNPL eliminator between Karaikudi Kaalai and Lyca Kovai Kings, who have reached the top-four position in a superb fashion by winning tough contests. While the Kalaai have a strong bowling attack and an in-form batting contingent, we feel that Lyca Kovai Kings with their newly found momentum and Murali Vijay's experience are better placed to win on Wednesday.