G Ajitesh's unbeaten and quick 48 off 25 balls helped Nellai Royal Kings (NRK) beat Salem Spartans (SS) by five wickets on Saturday in match 4 of the ongoing Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) at the Indian Cement Company Ground, Tirunelveli.
Nellai Royal Kings, on the back of their brilliant bowling, restricted Salem Spartans to 149 for 7 and then hunted down the target with 14 balls to spare to record their second consecutive win of the season.
NRK's chase got off to a disastrous start as their opener's P Ranjan Paul's poor form continued after he was dismissed for just 1 run in the first over. Laxmesha Suryaprakash, however, didn't let the early blow to his side, disturb the momentum of the team as he went on to add 35 runs off 27 balls before falling prey to Kishoor's bowling.
Baba Aparajith and skipper Baba Indrajith also did their bit, scoring 32 and 15 runs respectively before Ajitesh turned the momentum of the game in NRK's favour as he launched an assault on Spartans' bowlers to achieve the target with ultimate ease.
The 19-year-old Ajitesh was given able support by Jitendra Kumar, who smashed the final ball six to take his side past the finish line in 17.4 overs with 5 wickets in hand.
G Kishoor bagged two wickets for Salem Spartans but ended up conceding 40 runs in his 3 overs. R Karthikeyan and B Praanesh picked up one wicket each.
Earlier, Nellai Royal Kings after opting to bowl first got a quick boost when Yohan Memon dismissed Jafar Jamal in the second over of the innings. The fellow opener Hari Gopinath also couldn't contribute much as he was trapped at square leg for the score of 10, leaving NRK reeling at 2/30.
Former skipper Sunder Ferrario (60* off 49) then led the Spartans from the front with a quality half-century knock against a disciplined bowling attack of the Royal Kings to propel his side to the respectable total of 149 for 7 off their 20 overs.
The wicket-keeper batter R Kavin (48 off 37) also contributed well as he fell just 2 runs short of his first fifty in the ongoing edition of the tournament.
Apart from this duo, none of their batters could find any kind of rhythm as they all failed to surpass the 11-run mark. V Davidson and N Harish shone with the ball for Nellai Royal Kings, having scalped two wickets each.
Salem Spartans: 149/7 (20)
D Ferrario 60*(49), R Kavin 48(37); V Davidson 2/28 (4), N Harish 2/30 (4)
Nellai Royal Kings: 152/5 (17.4)
G Ajitesh 48* (25), B Aparajith 32(25); G Kishoor 2/40 (3)
Nellai Royal Kings won by 4 wickets.