Karaikudi Kaalai captain Anirudha Srikkanth smashed two towering sixes to seal Trichy Warriors’ fate in the Super Over after Murali Vijay’s late blitz had forced their fourth Tamil Nadu Premier T20 League to end in a tie at the NPR College ground here on Saturday.
In the Super Over, Trichy made 11 runs with Vijay scoring all the runs off pacer Sunil Sam. Anirudha didn’t leave any doubts of who was going to be the winner of the match by carting two sixes off left-arm spinner Sai Kishore off the first two balls he faced to log a thrilling win for his team.
For 34 overs of the 40-over contest, Karaikudi Kaalai was in control of the proceedings until Murali Vijay nearly stole the thunder. Dropped when he was on five by R Rajkumar off pacer V Laxman with the score reading 6-0 in the second over, Vijay made the erring fielder pay heavily for his lapse.
In the first 14 overs, the India opener appeared content in keeping the scoreboard ticking, not hitting a boundary while scoring 31 off 38 balls. But off the next 18 balls he clobbered 50 runs, including seven fours and three sixes.
With Trichy needing another 78 runs from 30 balls, Vijay simply waded into the attack meting out some special treatment to medium-pacer Rajkumar clattering two sixes and a four to collect 20 runs in the 15th over.
In the 17th over bowled by Sunil Sam, the 35-year-old international belted four fours to gather 18 runs. He continued his belligerent mood against Rajkumar plucking two fours and six for 15 runs in the over.
With the equation down to 20 runs from 12 balls, Vijay holed out in the deep off Sunil Sam for a superb 81 off 56 balls. Ganapati Chandrasekar (21 off 17 balls), wicketkeeper Mani Bharathy (7 not out off 2 balls) and Sai Kishore (7 not out off 6 balls) kept Trichy in the hunt by forcing a tie.
It was the fourth tie in the history of the league and first of the season. Anirudha was content with the total his team had put on the board but his only worry at the break was Murali Vijay.