TNPL 2018: Karaikudi Kaalai on the verge of playoffs after beating Dindigul Dragons
On the back of Ashwath Mukunthan's five-fer and an explosive start from the openers, iDream Karaikudi Kaalai made it four wins in a row in TNPL 2018. Their latest triumph, over Dindigul Dragons by five wickets at the ICL Sankar Nagar Ground in Tirunelveli also ended Dindigul's four-game winning streak.
Chasing 178 for victory, captain Anirudha Srikkanth and fellow opener V Aaditya put on 94 for the opening wicket in just 7.4 overs and set the platform for the chase. Although both batsmen fell short of a fifty, in quick succession, the middle-order managed the chase expertly.
It needed an unbeaten 41 from Rajkumar, who was promoted to No.3 to help them get over the line with six wickets and nine balls to spare. The win also helped the Kaalai maintain their surge to the top of the TNPL 2018 table.
After winning the toss, N Jagadeesan surprised everyone by electing to bat first. Although Hari Nishaanth was dismissed cheaply, the skipper and Anirudh Sita Ram put on 46 for the second wicket.
After that, it was the Sita Room show until R Vivek tore the Kaalai bowling to shreds. The fourth-wicket partnership between the two was 58, off just 23 balls. That included a stunning over that went for 32 runs off the bowling of Mohan Prasath. Vivek carted the left-arm spinner for four sixes and two fours, which was the most expensive in the tournament's history.
But once he got out in the 17th over, there was a late collapse as Ashwath ran through the lower order, picking up three wickets off his final over as he finished with figures of 5/36, his second five-wicket haul in TNPL. The last two overs went for just 10 runs and saw five wickets fall as Dindigul were bundled out for 177.
The flurry of wickets towards the end gave Kaalai the necessary momentum to make it four wins in a row.
Turning point: After the onslaught from R Vivek, including the most expensive over in TNPL history, Dindigul would have wanted a total close to 200 but the last two overs went for just 10 runs and included five wickets. They were bowled out for 177 off the last ball of the over and that gave Kaalai the momentum they needed to get back into the game.
Brief scores: Dindigul Dragons 177 all out in 20 overs (Anirudh Sita Ram 53, R Vivek 42, Ashwath Mukunthan 5/36, Yo Mahesh 2/30) lost to iDream Karaikudi Kaalai 179/4 in 18.3 overs (V Aaditya 49, Anirudha Srikkanth 43, R Rajkumar 41) by six wickets.
For more TNPL related news, visit www.tnca.inPublished 30 Jul 2018, 22:56 IST