Kovai opens its account with eight-wicket victory

After opting to bowl, Kings restricted Spartans to a below-par 146 for nine, despite opener KH Gopinath’s (41 off 18 balls, 3 fours, 4 sixes) fireworks at the start.
Suresh Kumar bagged the ‘Man of the match’ award for his game-winning 64.
Suresh Kumar bagged the ‘Man of the match’ award for his game-winning 64.

CHENNAI: Lyca Kovai Kings opened its account in the Tamil Nadu Premier League 2022 with a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Salem Spartans at the NPR College Ground in Dindigul on Wednesday.

Spinner B Surya, opening batter Suresh Kumar and B Sai Sudharsan impressed the most for Kovai, which secured its first win in three matches. Meanwhile, Salem slumped to its second successive defeat and is yet to open its tally in Season 6.

After opting to bowl, Kings restricted Spartans to a below-par 146 for nine, despite opener KH Gopinath’s (41 off 18 balls, 3 fours, 4 sixes) fireworks at the start. Salem lost wickets in clusters and was tottering at 68 for five in the eighth over.

However, skipper Murugan Ashwin (31 off 32 balls, 1 four, 1 six) and Pranav Kumar (32 off 34 balls, 1 four, 1 six) guided Spartans to a respectable total with less than a run-a-ball knocks. While Surya (3/14 off 4 overs) and Abhishek Tanwar (3/39) scalped three each, K Vignesh (2/35) picked up two wickets at the beginning.

In the chase, Kovai lost opener Ganga Sridhar Raju (13) early but it mattered little as Suresh (64 off 43 balls, 3 fours, 4 sixes) and B Sai Sudharsan (56 not out off 43 balls, 6 fours, 1 six) took the match away from Salem with a 111-run alliance for the second wicket.

Suresh completed his fifty in the 12th over with a pull shot, with Sai Sudharsan reaching the landmark following a boundary over long-on in the 17th. Sai Sudharsan finished the chase in the best possible way – with a maximum off Ganesh Moorthi – and remained unbeaten alongside captain Shahrukh Khan (5 not out) as Kings cruised home in 16.3 overs.

“The wicket (pitch) was sticky initially, but the ball came onto the bat better later. I was just trying to use the pace of the bowlers and find the gaps,” said Suresh, the ‘Man of the match’.

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