Shahrukh Khan, bowlers lead Lyca Kovai Kings to 15-run win over Karaikudi Kaalai in TNPL
Shahrukh Khan scored a half-century in Lyca Kovai Kings' last win. @TNPremierLeague

Riding on Shahrukh Khan’s half-century and bowlers’ efforts, Lyca Kovai Kings registered a close win over Karaikudi Kaalai in Tamil Nadu Premier League at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on Sunday. Skipper Abhinav Mukund opted to bat first and provided a great start along with Khan. The Tamil Nadu Ranji duo put on 84 runs for the first wicket.

Khan played his shots early in the innings while Mukund opted for a safe approach. His innings of 32 off 31 consisted of three fours. The skipper was dismissed off a Srikkanth Anirudh’s direct hit. On the very next delivery, Khan completed his first-century of TNPL 2019 with a boundary off Ashwin Kumar.

Number three batsman Muhammed Khan failed to contribute much and was dismissed on 2 off 3. Kaalai bounced back with two quick wickets of Khan (59 off 43) and Akkil Srikanth (12 off 8). The dismissal of the opener had an impact on Kovai’ as they finished on 154 in 20 overs, as after Khan’s dismissal in the 15th over, Kovai’s run-rate dipped.

Karaikudi had to start in a brisk manner to chase down the total but it wasn’t the case as they lost their opener Laxmesha Suryaprakash after his 14-ball struggle, in which he just scored 2. Skipper Anirudha failed to convert his 24 off 17 into a big one, getting dismissed off S Ajith Ram in eighth over.

Malolan Rangarajan struck twice in his very first over to add to Karaikudi’s woes after they lost the wicket of their captain. Maan Bafna and S Ganesh’s 33-run partnership for the fifth wicket saw their side minimizing the difference but Karaikudi never looked like chasing down the target.

M Shajahan did entertain with his late 41* off 23 but by the time he came in to bat, it was too late for his side to mount a comeback. Losing regular wickets marred Karaikudi’s chase as they lost to Kings by 15 runs to suffer their fifth defeat in six matches.