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Ajitesh's 56 powers Nellai Royal Kings to a win in a rain-curtailed clash

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Last updated on 06 Jul 2023 | 06:39 AM
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Ajitesh's 56 powers Nellai Royal Kings to a win in a rain-curtailed clash

Ba11sy Trichy endured a dismal season and failed to record a single win in this edition of TNPL

Nellai Royal Kings end the league stage of the Tamil Nadu Premier League at Indian Cements Cricket Ground in Tirunelveli with an eight-wicket victory over Ba11sy Trichy.

Notably, the match was interrupted twice by rain. At first, the game got reduced to 19 overs a side, and after the second intervention of the shower, Nellai Royal Kings' target got further reduced to 130 in 16 overs.

The Kings opted to bowl first in their final league match. Sandeep Warrier led the pace department with 1/18 in his four overs. His initial overs provided much-needed momentum for the team. Ba11sy Trichy had a slow start to the inning. The top three added only 20 runs in 35 deliveries before the rain took over.

When the match resumed, Jafar Jamal shifted gears. He took on the spinners in the latter part of the inning and scored his first half-century of the season in 35 deliveries.

Jafar Jamal, who was struggling with his running, decided to use his power. Daryl Ferrario was the star performer in the last game against Chepauk Super Gillies, was pushed down the order today and batted at six. Daryl Ferrario was the closest spectator for Jafar Jamal's innings today. He played a perfect second fiddle for his teammate.

However, after the rain, the bowlers struggled to grip the ball. Jafar Jamal used the same to his advantage and smashed them all out of the ground. There were consecutive sixes off Poiyamozhi and then Sonu Yadav's as well. Luck favours him on occasion. 

There was a dropped catch and then a couple of outside edge boundaries too. Jafar Jamal missed his century by just four runs. He ended his innings with 96 (53), with six fours and eight massive sixes. After the half-century, his next 46 runs came in 18 deliveries.

Jafar Jamal and Daryl Ferrario added 67 (33) for the fifth wicket. Jafar Jamal dominated the partnership with 53 (22). A couple of boundaries in the end by Antony Dhas took Ba11sy Trichy to 146/6 in their allotted 19 overs. The second intervention of the rain reduced Nellai Royal Kings' target.

Chasing 130 to win in 16 overs, Nellai Royal Kings proved too good for the Ba11sy Trichy. The wet ball didn't help Ba11sy Trichy's course either. The pacers struggled to grip the ball and ended up bowling a few full tosses. Nellai Royal Kings' batters made use of the same and raced to their 50 in 4.3 overs and added 62 runs in the powerplay. 

K Easwaran was the most successful bowler for Ba11sy Trichy in the powerplay. He dismissed both Surya Prakash and Arun Karthick. G Ajitesh, coming at three, dealt in boundaries right from the start and got to his half-century in 25 deliveries. 

Along with Nidhish Rajagopal, he added 87 runs (47) for the third wicket, and they took the team over the line to win by eight wickets.

Nidhish Rajagopal was the impact player for Nellai Royal Kings today. The batter had to miss a few games due to an injury earlier in the tournament. He did not take risks but gave the maximum strike to G. Ajitesh. In the end, he finished the game with a massive inside-out six over the covers to end with 35*(21).

The winning captain, Arun Karthick, said: I was able to play with freedom because of players like G Ajitesh. He has been excellent for us throughout the season. Also, hats off to the crowd for waiting even during the rain, and all credit to the groundsmen for getting the pitch ready even in this condition.

The losing captain, Ganga Sridhar Raju, said: Jafar Jamal took us to a great total, but we lost it because of our bowling today. We didn't play well as a team this season. We will look to rectify this and come back stronger next season.

The player of the match, G Ajitesh, said: I have no big plans, but I just wanted to help the team get over the line. It is very important to get into the playoffs with this momentum. We will look to play like this in the playoffs too. 

Ba11sy Trichy ends their disappointing season without a win. The league stage comes to an end with today's match. The TNPL caravan will move back to Salem now for the first Qualifier. Lyca Kovai Kings and Dindigul Dragons will lock horns for a place in the final on Friday.

(Image and Match Report courtesy: TNPL)

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