Madurai Super Giants slumped to its third straight defeat, despite K.B. Arun Karthick’s valiant effort, going down by 10 runs to Lyca Kovai Kings in the Tamil Nadu Premier League match here on Friday. Karthick walked in at No. 3 in the fourth over and kept his side in the hunt with some powerful hitting. He smashed 73 off 44 balls with eight fours and three sixes. He did not get any support from the other end, barring a 54-run partnership with skipper P. Shijit Chandran for the third wicket.
With 47 required off the last three overs, Karthick holed out to mid-off in the 18th over. He was deceived by a slower one by medium-pacer M. Mohammed. Earlier, explosive knocks from the top order powered Lyca Kovai Kings to a strong 199 for seven in 20 overs.
Openers L. Suryapprakash and B. Anirudh Sita Ram wasted no time in going after the bowlers as 20 runs came off the first two overs. The Super Giants' bowling was ordinary, either giving the batsmen room to swing their arms or allowing them to cut the short balls.
By the end of PowerPlay, Kovai Kings reached 64 for no loss, with 21 coming off the sixth over which was bowled by left-arm spinner D.T. Chandrasekar. Suryapprakash was especially severe in that over, first cutting one through point and sweeping another through square-leg before coming down the wicket and clearing the long-off boundary.
However, Super Giants struck back in the seventh over when medium-pacer S. Thiyagarjan dismissed the openers. It took a brilliant catch by Karthick — diving to his right at backward point — to dismiss Suryapprakash.
Just when the Madurai outfit looked to get in some cheap overs, Tarun Srinivas and R. Rohith attacked, putting up 76 runs off 43 balls for the third wicket. Tarun provided the initial momentum, racing to 32 off 25 balls before Rohith got into the act, going after off-spinner P. Shakthi in the 13th over where he smashed three sixes.
Super Giants then did well to pull things back from 155 for three at the end of the 15th over to 175 for seven, going into the final over. However, M. Mohammed took full toll on some poor bowling from medium pacer M. Raja, taking 24 runs off the last over which included two sixes and a boundary.
The scores: Lyca Kovai Kings 199 for seven in 20 overs (L. Suryapprakash 36, B. Anirudh Sita Ram 26, S. Tarun Srinivas 45, R. Rohith 40, M. Mohammed 27 n.o., S. Thiyagarajan two for14) bt Madurai Super Giants 189 for seven in 20 overs (K.B. Arun Karthick 73, P. Shijit Chandran 25, M. Mohammed two for 28, K. Vignesh two for 32).