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Karakudi Kaalai won their 3rd game in 5 matches (Photo courtesy: Twitter )

Karaikudi Kaalai finally looked a dominant side in the inaugural season of Tamil Nadu Premier League 2016 (TNPL). Match No.20 saw the Lyca Kovai Kings clash against Karaikudi Kaalai at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Kovai Kings were the better team so far, while Kaalai had been languishing in the bottom-half of the table. Kaalai’s bowling looked in absolute control defending 160 runs. R Sonu Yadav was the star with the ball for Kaalai. Sonu picked up 4-wickets in the match to break the Kovai Kings batting line-up. Yadav picked up the wickets of  JS Mohammad , S Harish Kumar, Murugesan Kamlesh and M Mohammed who formed a formidable middle-order line-up. TNPL 2016, Lyca Kovai Kings vs Karaikudi Kaalai, Full Updates

After this it was all the R Sonu Yadav show, who decimated the Kovai Kings middle-order. Yadav’s first wicket was JS Mohammad who was again caught by R Rajkumar at the third-man region. This was a hard catch made to look simple. JS Mohammad made just 10 runs. Sonu Yadav was quick to pick his second wicket in Harish Kumar. Harish was again caught by Rajkumar but this time towards the long-on region via another top-edge. Harish made a 15-ball 20. Sonu Yadav’s third wicket was M Kamlesh who lasted just 13 balls. Kamlesh maded just 9 runs before giving Anirudha a simple catch standing behind the stumps. Fourth and final wicket for Sonu Yadav was M Mohammed. This was Rajkumar’s fourth catch as well, who grabs a sitter at long-off which ended Mohammed’s innings at 6. Final wicket to fall was MK Sivakumar who was bowled by Mohan Prasath for 8 runs. After that it was all Kaalai’s match to win.

After winning the toss Karaikudi Kaalai opted to bat first on a seemingly flat deck. Kaalai were themselves off to a poor start losing Rajhamany Srinivasan as early as in the second over of the day. K vignesh dented what was the first nail in the coffin for Kaalai. Srinivasan trying to go over mid-off managed to get a toe end of the bat and hand a simple catch to the fielder at mid-off. It was only Vijay Kumar who provided some fire works for the Kaalai batting early on. Vijay added 35 runs from just 21 balls, with 4 four’s and a single six in his knock. Vijay was bowled by M Mohammed who managed to get an under edge which hit rattled Vijay’s stumps. Next wicket to go was Vishal Vaidhya who did good with the bat in his 18-ball stay. Vishal added 15 runs to the scoreboard before getting bowled off by M Mohammed.Again the wicket coming off a inside edge.

It was S Badrinath and Srikkant Anirudha who stabilize the Kaalai innings. Both of these players have played together for IPL team Chennai Super Kings in the past and would have been accustomed to each other.Badrinath started with a boundary but then slowed down the pace of his innings. Anirudha on the other hand, was blocking everything and playing with much caution. Badrinath slowly and steadily picked up his scoring rate and enured that the flow of runs never stopped. Seeing his captain score freely Anirudha also went on a rampage mode, and started teeing off everything the bowlers had to offer.

Anirudha was soon out scoring Badrinath. Not one to stay behind Badrinath quickly notched up his half century in 45 balls with 4 four’s and a six to his name. Badrinath perished the very next ball, K Vignesh took a wonderful caught and bowl to dismiss the Kaalai skipper. Final wicket to fall for Kaalai was Anirudha who managed to get 45 runs off just 29 balls. Anirudha’s innings made sure that Kaalai reach a par score of 159 runs to defend. m Mohammed was the best bowler for Kovai Kings, picking up 3 for 26. Kings next best bowler was Vignesh who nabbed 2 wickets for 25 runs.

This was a much needed for Karaikudi Kaalai, after which they go on to fifth spot on the table with six points. Lyca Kovai Kings after this loss are still in the top half of the table moving down to third spot with six points in the bag.

Brief score:

Karaikudi Kaalai 159 for 5 in 20 overs (S Badrinath 53, Srikkanth Anirudha 45; M Mohammed 3 for 26 ) defeat Lyca Kovai Kings 123 for 9 in 20 overs  (B Anirudh Sita Ram 35, S Harish Kumar 20; R Sonu Yadav 4 for 22) by 36 runs.