Kovai Kings had themselves to blame for letting the match slip despite being within handshaking distance from victory.

M Mohammed
M Mohammed. (Photo Source: TNPL)

Chennai, July 31: iDream Tiruppur Tamizhans captain M Mohammed pulled the carpet from under the feet of Lyca Kovai Kings with a brilliant final over to script a stunning two-run victory for his side in a thrilling Shriram Capital TNPL match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday.

Kovai were in complete control of the match needing six runs from the last six balls with four wickets in hand but Mohammed led from the front by throttling the batsmen with his discipline conceding just three runs and picking up two wickets to turn the tables on his rivals. The 30-year-old Mohammed ended with a superb analysis of 4-0-31-4 as Kovai fell agonisingly short at 160-8 in 20 overs.

Mohammed revealed he backed himself to bowl the last over. “There was only one dilemma, whether to bowl Rajkumar or me. I felt like I could soak the pressure better so I decided to bowl it myself. I used my experience and bowled well. I went with my instincts and that worked out,” he said.

Sai Sudharsan shines again

Earlier, young Bhardwaj Sai Sudharsan had done all the hard work with another fine knock of 51 off 36 balls (3 fours, 2 sixes) after opener V Ganga Sridhar Raju had provided a fluent start to the Kovai innings scoring 30 off 17 balls (3 fours, 2 sixes). Sudharsan, who leads the batting charts with 296 runs from five matches, sacrificed his wicket after a bad mix-up with U Mukilesh (26 off 19 balls, 2 fours, 1 six).

Once Sudharsan was run out with Kovai needing 25 off 21 balls, Tiruppur sensed an opportunity and they began tightening the screws with Mohammed rallying his troops brilliantly.

I shouldn’t have given away my wicket: Sai Sudharsan

Kovai Kings had themselves to blame for letting the match slip despite being within handshaking distance from victory.

A distraught Sudharsan believed Kovai Kings would have won had he not got out. “I shouldn’t have given away my wicket at that stage. I believe I would’ve finished the game had I stayed till the end. He (Mukilesh) had already crossed me but if he hadn’t then I would’ve tried to. So in the heat of the moment, there’s nothing we could’ve done, I can’t blame him (Mukilesh) either, it happens,” he said.

Earlier, Tiruppur did well to post a respectable 162-7 in 20 overs. Their innings was built around two partnerships. The first was between opener S Dinesh (39 off 30 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) and Maan K Bafna (14 off 16 balls), who put on 52 runs off 38 balls while the second and the best partnership was worth 73 runs off 49 balls for the fifth wicket between all-rounder Francis Rokins (38 off 27 balls, 2 fours, 2 sixes) and captain M Mohammed (33 off 25 balls, 2 fours, 2 sixes).

The Rokins-Mohammed alliance was crucial as they came together at a time when the Kovai bowlers were gaining ascendancy. Tiruppur, who were 68-3 at the halfway mark ended up adding 94 runs in the next 10 overs.

Left-arm spinner S Ajith Ram (1-19) continued to impress for Kovai while fast bowling all-rounder Abhishek Tanwar picked up two wickets for 29 runs.

Kovai suffered a blow earlier in the day when their pacer Krishnamoorthy Vignesh was ruled out of the game with a knee injury he suffered in their earlier match against Siechem Madurai Panthers (please check). Team physio P Sakthivel said they were monitoring the situation closely and a final call on his status will be known on Monday (August 2).

Brief scores

iDream Tiruppur Tamizhans 162-7 in 20 overs (S Dinesh 39, Francis Rokins 38, M Mohammed 33; Mukilesh 2-7, Abhishek Tanwar 2-29, R Divakar 2-30, S Ajith Ram 1-19) defeated Lyca Kovai Kings 160-8 in 20 overs (Sai Sudharsan 51, Ganga Sridhar Raju 30, U Mukilesh 26, Ashwin Venkataraman 24; M Mohammed 4-31, Maan Bafna 1-16, A Karuppusamy 1-28, Aswin Crist 1-42) by 2 runs.


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