Nothing went right for the Trichy Warriors, who did not help themselves by dropping three catches.

Ganga Sridhar Raju
Ganga Sridhar Raju. (Photo Source: TNPL)

Chennai, July 23: Dashing opener V Ganga Sridhar Raju powered Lyca Kovai Kings to an impressive eight-wicket victory over Ruby Trichy Warriors in their Shriram Capitals TNPL match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Friday.

The left-handed opener smacked 74 off 52 balls (6 fours, 4 sixes) as Kovai Kings surpassed the target of 172 in 18.1 overs with 11 balls to spare. The win also puts them atop the eight-team table with three points from two matches.

Sai Sudharsan impresses again

Another left-hander Bhardwaj Sai Sudharsan, who caught the eye in the tournament opener with a strokeful 87 off 43 balls, too played a part by continuing from where he had left off by compiling an unbeaten 57 off 43 balls (6 fours, 1 six).

The second-wicket partnership between Raju and Sudharsan that raised 106 runs off 69 balls completely shut Trichy Warriors out of the game. The 28-year-old Raju took off from the word go with two straight driven fours in the first over off pacer Sunil Sam. He never lifted his foot off the pedal and continued accelerating with panache until he holed out in the deep attempting a big hoick off pacer Sunil Sam.

A delighted Raju indicated he was determined to come good after his 33 off 20 balls against Spartans in the abandoned game. “It is unfortunate that I missed out in the first game. I wanted to capitalise on the start and it went well. It would have been better if I had completed the chase,” he said. He also had a word of praise for the young Sai Sudharsan. “It’s only his second game but he’s showing a great deal of maturity,” he said.

The 20-year-old Sudharsan, who was content playing the second fiddle flourished in his senior’s company. He stayed till the end to see the side through and complete another impressive outing. Kovai Kings captain M Shahrukh Khan (18 not out off 5 balls) ended the game in a flourish by smacking a six and a four off pacer Anthony Dhas.

M Mathivanan stands out

Nothing went right for the Trichy Warriors, who did not help themselves by dropping three catches to give a reprieve to both Raju and Sudharsan. However, left-arm spinner M Mathivanan stood out in this run-fest conceding just 21 runs off his four overs.

Trichy Warriors’ top scorer in the match Nidhish Rajagopal felt the fielding lapses did not help their cause at all. “I think we were about 10 runs short. We gave a lot of boundaries and we didn’t field well. There were overthrows, dropped catches… you never win games when you drop 2-3 catches of one batsman,” he rued.

Earlier, Trichy Warriors appeared to have justified their decision to bat first by posting 171-7 in 20 overs. The Trichy innings gained its strength from a 74-run partnership of 49 balls for the third wicket between No.3 Nidhish Rajagopal (45 off 28 balls, 6 fours, 1 six) and Sumant Jain (29 off 25 balls, 1 four, 2 sixes).

Although Rajagopal and Jain made their exits trying to force the pace, Anthony Dhas (20 off 11 balls, 1 four, 1 six) and Saravana Kumar (12 off 3 balls, 2 sixes) continued the charge with some lusty blows.

The foundation, however, was laid by young Amith Sathvik (42 off 32 balls, 6 fours), who continued to impress with his batting. The teenaged opener did the bulk of the scoring during his first wicket partnership of 57 from 48 balls with K Mukunth (14 off 20 balls). However, both the openers fell to spin before Rajagopal and Jain took charge.

Left-arm spinner S Ajith Ram was the most economical among Kovai bowlers conceding 20 runs from his four overs.

Brief scores

Ruby Trichy Warriors 171-7 in 20 overs (Nidhish Rajagopal 45, Amith Sathvik 42, Sumant Jain 29, Antony Dhas 20; Abhishek Tanwar 2-32, K Vignesh 2-30, N Selva Kumaran 2-26, S Ajith Ram 1-20) lost to Lyca Kovai Kings 175-2 in 18.1 overs (V Ganga Sridhar Raju 74, B Sai Sudharsan 57*, Shahrukh Khan 18*; Rahil Shah 1-32, Sunil Sam 1-42) by 8 wickets.


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