TNPL 2018: Dindigul Dragons through to playoffs
Dindigul Dragons joined Siechem Madurai Panthers in the TNPL 2018 playoffs after they ended the group stage with a win over Chepauk Super Gillies at the NPR College Ground in Dindigul. Chasing 121 for victory, N Jagadeesan led from the front with an unbeaten 63 as they got over the line with 39 balls and nine wickets to spare.
N Jagadeesan and Hari Nishaanth put on 89 for the opening wicket and laid the perfect platform for the chase that was finished off by R Vivek with a six. The low total was made possible by an excellent spell by the bowlers, led by Silambarasan who finished with figures of 3/16.
After being sent into bat, Chepauk didn't get off to a great start as they lost both openers inside the powerplay. That brought captain KH Gopinath and M Ashwin to the crease. The two batted sensibly and added 25 runs.
But once Gopinath was dismissed by Varun Totadri, who took a brilliant return catch diving to his right, the collapse began. Just three balls later, another experienced campaigner in U Sasidev guided one onto his own stumps and Chepauk never really recovered from that.
From then onwards, wickets kept falling at regular intervals as the quality of catches taken by Dindigul at the deep kept getting better and better. Two of them came in the 19th over in the space of three balls as R Vivek took an excellent one-handed catch at long on before Anirudh Sita Ram took a brilliant diving catch after sprinting 15 yards to his left.
Chepauk were eventually bowled out for 120 with three balls left in their innings and that was never going to be enough and so it proved.
Turning point: At 64/2 after 8.4 overs, Chepauk were in a decent position to post a good total as they were looking to end their season with a win. But captain KH Gopinath and U Sasidev fell in the space of four balls and that meant that the lower middle-order were left with more half
Brief Scores: Chepauk Super Gillies 120 all out in 19.3 overs ( A Aarif 36, M Silambarasan 3/16, Varun Totadri 2/18, Trilok Nag 2/18) lost to Dindigul Dragons 121/1 in 13.3 overs ( N Jagadeesan 63*, Hari Nishaanth 34, R Vivek 20*, M Ashwin 1/27) by nine wickets.
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