TNPL: Dindigul Dragons through to semis with win over Karaikudi

Dindigul Dragons chased down 126 runs with seven wickets in hand to ensure a place in the semifinals of the Tamil Nadu Premier League.

Tamil Nadu Premier League Dindigul Dragons

T.Natarajan (left) of Dindigul Dragons celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Srinivasan of Karaikudi Kaalai.   -  M. Vedhan

Dindigul Dragons scripted a seven-wicket win over Karaikudi Kaalai in the India Cements Tamil Nadu Premier League at NPR CET grounds in Natham on Sunday. With the victory, Dragons ensured a place in the semifinals.

Chasing 126, Dragons lost skipper V. Subramania Siva in the first over. However, N. Jagadeesan, the other opener, and V. Ganga Sridhar Raju (56 not out, 48b, 5x4, 2x6) put on 29 off 32 balls for the second wicket before the former was dismissed off the last ball of the PowerPlay with the score at 34. Wilkins Victor (50, 35b, 5x4, 2x6) joined Raju and they kept the scoreboard ticking at a brisk pace. M. Suresh Babu broke the duo’s partnership (89 off 59 balls) when he dismissed Victor in the 16th over, but by then it was too late.

Earlier, Kaalai, electing to bat, scored 125 for nine. Tidy bowling by the Dragons made Kaalai batsmen work hard for their runs. And the bowlers were backed by some sharp fielding. With boundaries hard to come by, Kaalai batsmen dealt mostly in singles and twos to score 35 for two at the end of the PowerPlay. After K. Vishal Vaidhya got out hit-wicket in the seventh over, skipper Badrinath (27, 34b, 3x4) was joined by S. Anirudha (36, 29b, 1x4, 2x6) and they added 30 off 36 balls for the fourth-wicket before leg-spinner M. Ashwin got Badrinath caught and bowled in the 13th over with the score at 69.

Anirudha stepped on the accelerator in the 15th over when he scored 13 runs off Sunny Kumar Singh, which included a six and a four. But he was dismissed in the 18th over by left-arm medium-pacer T. Natarajan. Thanks to some good hitting by R. Rajkumar and Shoaib Md Khan, Kaalai managed 21 runs off the last two overs to post 125. Natarajan scalped four wickets and Ashwin took three wickets for Dragons.

Brief scores:

Karaikudi Kaalai 125 for nine in 20 overs (S. Badrinath 27, S. Anirudha 36, T. Natarajan four for 21, M. Ashwin three for 30) lost to Dindigul Dragons 126 for three in 16.3 overs (V. Ganga Sridhar Raju 56 n.o., Wilkins Victor 50, Ganapathi Chandrasekar two for 23).