Rain played spoilsport in the first game of the 2021 Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) between the Lyca Kovai Kings and the Salem Spartans as only 18 overs of play were possible at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
The Spartans won the toss and elected to field first. The decision backfired as the Kovai Kings amassed 49 for the loss of only one wicket in the opening powerplay. Ganga Sridhar Raju scored 33 of the opening partnership’s 38 runs before falling in the fifth over.
For the second wicket, R Kavin (33 off 41) and 19-year-old Sai Sudharsan (87 off 43) put on 121 runs, before the former was dismissed in the 17th over. Captain Shahrukh Khan strode into bat but could only manage one run before being deceived by a slower ball from G Periyaswamy (2/18 in three overs).
Sudharsan followed his skipper to the dugout off the very next delivery, and it seemed like the Spartans would wrest control of the match at the end of the first innings before the rain came pelting down. The game was called off with two overs yet to be bowled in the Kovai Kings innings, putting a dampener on things for fans who had waited two long years for TNPL action.
TNPL 2021: Vijay Shankar, Murugan Ashwin take part in limited cricketing action at Chepauk
Vijay Shankar and Murugan Ashwin were among the stars on show in the opening game of TNPL 2021.
While the pace-bowling all-rounder took the new ball and sent down four overs for 35 runs, picking up the wicket of Kavin, Ashwin struggled to find rhythm and was taken for 34 runs in his three wicketless overs.
Periyaswamy, who won the Man of the Match award in the previous TNPL game (the 2019 final in which he picked up a five-wicket haul), was the pick of the Spartans’ bowlers.
The second TNPL 2021 game sees the Chepauk Super Gillies commence their title defense against the IDream Tiruppur Tamizhans. Indian Premier League stars like N Jagadeesan and M Siddharth will take to the field at Chepauk on July 20.