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TNPL 3, Match 24, Review: Arun Karthik’s unbeaten 85 seals playoff berth for Madurai Panthers

Kaalai, meanwhile, tasted their second straight defeat after a run of four wins.

Abhishek Tanwar and Arun Karthik celebrate their win
Abhishek Tanwar and Arun Karthik celebrate their win. (Photo Source: TNPL)

Opener KB Arun Karthik’s unbeaten 85 (50b) helped Siechem Madurai Panthers seal a Playoff berth for the first time in the Sankar Cement-TNPL as they pulled off a sensational four-wicket win over iDream Karaikudi Kaalai at the NPR College ground in  Natham (Dindigul) on Thursday, Aug 2, in the ongoing 2018 edition.

It was their fifth consecutive win in six matches as they moved to the top of the league table with one round remaining in the third edition.

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Kaalai, meanwhile, tasted their second straight defeat after a run of four wins and their chances of making it to the Playoffs rests on the outcome of their last match.

Defending 158, Kaalai bowlers made early in-roads to reduce the Panthers to 56/4 in seven overs. In-form Arun Karthik was unfazed and played another impressive innings that included 10 fours and two sixes.

No 6 Shijit Chandran 38 (25b, 2×4, 2×6) shared in a 63-run stand off 44 balls with Arun Karthik for the fifth wicket which proved vital. The experienced opener closed out the chase in the company of Abhishek Tanwar.

An afternoon shower appeared to have spiced up the pitch. Skipper S Anirudha guided the Kaalais with a solid 48 and middle-order R Rajkumar 20 and R Srinivasan 23 offered some resistance but the rest of the batting collapsed.

Off-spinner Varun Chakravarthy was the pick of the Panthers’ bowlers with 2-16 from four overs that included 13 dot balls.

Brief scores: iDream Karaikudi Kaalai 158 in 20 overs (S Anirudha 48, V Aaditya 25, Varun Chakravarthy 2-16, J Kousik 2-36, A Tanwar 2-37, K Aakash 2-37) lost to Siechem Madurai Panthers 162/6 in 18.2 overs (KB Arun Karthik n.o. 85, Shijit Chandran 38, V Yo Mahesh 2-33).

AWARDS

‘Krishna Mines Super White Super Fours’ Award:  KB Arun Karthik (Siechem Madurai Panthers)

‘Sankar Cement’ Maximum Sixes Award:   KB Arun Karthik/Shijit Chandran/Srikkanth Anirudha/R Rajkumar (Siechem Madurai Panthers/iDream Karaikudi Kaalai)

‘Equitas Funtastic’ Player of the Match:  Shijit Chandran (Siechem Madurai Panthers)

‘Sprite Most Refreshing Player’ Award:   Varun Chakravarthy (Siechem Madurai Panthers)

‘Most numbers of DOT BALL bowled in the match’ Award:  Varun Chakravarthy (Siechem Madurai Panthers)

‘Sankar Cement Man of the Match’ Award: KB Arun Karthik (Siechem Madurai Panthers)

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