TNPL 2019: Table-toppers Dindigul Dragons ease past VB Kanchi Veerans

C. Hari Nishaanth’s all-round effort helped Dindigul Dragons to its sixth successive win and cement its position at the top of the table with 12 points.

C. Hari Nishaanth scored 61 and picked up 2 wickets to help Dindigul Dragons cement its position at the top of the TNPL 2019 points table.   -  G. Karthikeyan

C. Hari Nishaanth’s all-round effort (61 not out and two for 17) helped table-topper Dindigul Dragons script a comfortable seven-wicket win over VB Kanchi Veerans in the Sankar Cement-TNPL at the NPR College grounds in Natham on Monday.

With six successive wins, Dindigul is on 12 points, while the Kanchi side remained in the fourth spot with six. Both have played six games.

The Veerans openers faced six different bowlers in PowerPlay, with the spinners delivering the first three overs. Despite a maiden from left-arm spinner M. Silambarasan, Veerans, opting to bat, made 48 without loss in six overs with K. Vishal Vaidhya (51, 41b, 4x4, 3x6) scoring the bulk of the runs.

The team then suffered a slump and was reduced to 58 for four. Leg-spinner M. Abhinav bowled S. Arun and had skipper B. Aparajith caught behind off successive deliveries in the seventh over. Nishaanth then removed R. Sanjay Yadav before P. Francis Rokins was run out in the 10th.

Vaidya, who notched up his half-century off 38 balls, and R. Sathish staged a mini-recovery through a 27-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

Dragons, however, seized control once again, dismissing both batsmen in quick succession. S. Lokeshwar struck an unbeaten 20-ball 26, which included two sixes, to help Veerans post 133. Abhinav (three for 24) was the pick of the bowlers for the Dragons.

In reply, the in-form opening pair of Nishaanth (61 not out, 44b, 5x4, 3x6) and N. Jagadeesan were in no hurry, scoring 36 in the PowerPlay overs. The Veerans bowlers applied pressure by picking up the wickets of Jagadeesan, Sumant Jain and R. Ashwin.

However, Nishaanth’s delightful day continued as his solid knock and R. Vivek’s big hitting steered Dragons to victory with 11 balls to spare.

The scores:

VB Kanchi Veerans 133 for eight in 20 overs (K. Vishal Vaidhya 51, S. Lokeshwar 26 n.o., M.Abhinav three for 24, C. Hari Nishaanth two for 17) lost to Dindigul Dragons 134 for three in 18.1 overs (C. Hari Nishaanth 61 n.o., R. Vivek 26 n.o., R. Divakar two for 34).

On Tuesday: Tuti Patriots vs Ruby Trichy Warriors (7.15 p.m.).