Aaditya, Anirudha steer Kaalai to easy win

The Kaalai openers were on song and they made short work of Dindigul Dragons' score of 177.

S. Anirudha of IDream Karaikudi Kaalai in action against Dindigul Dragons at the ICL Ground, Tirunelveli.   -  TNPL

Table topper Dindigul Dragons knows its big strength lies in chasing targets. But surprisingly, this time around, its skipper N. Jagadeesan opted to bat first. That turned out to be costly as IDream Karaikudi Kaalai powered its way to a comfortable six-wicket win in a crucial meeting of the Sankar Cement TNPL 2018 at the ICL grounds here on Monday.

The Kaalai openers V. Aaditya (49, 29b, 6x4, 2x6) and S. Anirudha (43, 18b, 4x4, 3x6) played with a positive frame of mind. If you’ll can do better we can do it as well they seemed to say as they raised a 94-run stand for the first wicket. It came off just 46 balls but their departure in the space of four balls spelt a bit of trouble. But the rest carried on the good work and completed the job with clinical precision.

Earlier, a breezy 58-run stand for the fourth wicket between B. Anirudh Sita Ram (53, 42b, 5x4, 1x6) and R. Vivek (42, 13b, 2x4, 5x6) saw the Dragons finish on a high at 177. It came at a time when the runs were beginning to dry as the Kaalai bowlers kept it tight in the middle overs.

Read: Team more important than individual stats, says Jagadeesan

Sita Ram played quietly for most part but Vivek was in a punishing mood. He took the risky route of hitting it long, and it paid off. He hammered Mohan Prasath for four huge sixes and two fours in the 16th over. And, the slow left-arm spinner, who has been on a song this season, was disappointed for having gifted 32 valuable runs. It was the most expensive in the TNPL so far.

But with the duo back in the hut, Kaalai picked up wickets regularly through its paceman Ashwath Mukunthan (five for 36) but it did not matter much. For Mukunthan it was his second five-wicket haul.