TNPL 2022 Qualifier 2: Shahrukh Khan plays as Lyca Kovai Kings defeat Nellai Royal Kings to reach final


Lyca Kovai Kings, courtesy of skipper Shahrukh Khan, held his nerve to land a final ball against Nellai Royal’s Kings in the second qualifier and progressed into the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) final on Friday at the cricket ground from SNR College in Coimbatore.

The Kovai Kings were down in the penultimate as Shahrukh, fending off a whirling skier, began his return trip, taking the hopes of his side with him.

Then came the dreaded sound of the Nellai Royal Kings. His talented 17-year-old Karthick Manikandan, who had played with steal, disappointment, turn and heart, had thrown a no ball.

Shahrukh returned and the Lyca camp heaved a sigh of relief.

Eventually chasing an intimidating 209, Lyca needed 16 on the last. A few sledgehammers later, it was two out of two.

Then more drama. Manish Ravi was knocked down by Sri Neranjan on the fifth ball. It came down to just one. Would it be a tie?

Southpaw Ajith Ram drove the last ball halfway and rushed for the winning run.

Shahrukh, the Finisher, was there at the end with an undefeated 58 from 24 balls (4×4, 5×6).

He kicked the ball with brutal power, brought his team home to win the man of the match award.

Stroking the ball with style and smooth timing, and splitting the field between point and cover, southpaw Sai Sudharsan also kept Kovai in the chase with a sublime 53 (33, 5×4, 2×6).

But then leg spinner Manikandan, took Sai out with an outside delivery which the batsman fatally tried to hit against the turn.

He then deceptively mid-air took U. Mukilesh wide and held his nerve against big hit Abhishek Tanwar to hold a whirling return hold.

Earlier, southpaw Sri Neranjan (34, 21b, 2×4, 3×6) turned on the ignition key for Nellai, triggering a series of shots early in Nellai’s innings after the side insertion.

It was a night when Sanjay Yadav took center stage with a brutal 26-ball 55. He was dishing out sixes, there were seven in all.

And Sanjay launched into setter R. Divakar with three sixes, a forehand being a hammer blow.

Generating tremendous power with his batting speed and wrists, Sanjay looted runs from the leg side.

The third pair of wickets added 88 from just 43 balls and the in-form and more classic Aparajith (44, 33b, 1×4, 3×6) played their part with flair and fluidity, opening the field with delightful shots, driving with authority . .

TNPL can throw heroes out of nowhere and on this occasion it was 19-year-old G. Ajitesh with his whirlwind 13-ball 38 with five sixes that sizzled as Kovai’s bowling collapsed.

Ajitesh went for the length early and dropped the seams on long and long to the death with clean shots in a wild assault.

Nellai’s batting power had returned to the fore. But Shahrukh had the last word.


Royal Kings Nellai 208 for six in 20 overs (Sri Neranjan 34, L. Suryapprakash 25, B. Aparajith 44, Sanjay Yadav 55, G. Ajitesh 38, Abhishek Tanwar two for 34, GR Manish two for 43) lost to Kings of Lyca Kovai 209 for eight in 20 overs (Ganga Sridhar Raju 28, Sai Sudharsan 53, M. Shahrukh Khan 58 no, K. Easwaran two for 30, Aparajith two for 42, Karthick Manikandan three for 46).


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