TNPL 2018: Thala's fifty seals Siechem Madurai Panthers' hat-trick
Siechem Madurai Panthers registered their third consecutive win in the 2018 TNPL as they beat VB Kanchi Veerans by 11 runs at the NPR college Ground at Natham, Dindigul.
After being put into bat, Madurai lost the wicket of in-form KB Arun Karthik in the second ball of the match for four. X Thalaivan Sargunam and skipper D Rohit did a good job in reviving things back for their team. After getting his eye in, Thala cut loose and started taking on the bowlers while Rohit remained calm as he played in a cautious manner.
Against the run of play, Thala offered Sanjay Yadav an easy catch but the former KKR man, fielding at deep-square-leg, put down an easy chance and gave the batsmen a reprieve. Since then, it was just an one-way traffic as Thala was just sending the ball out of his sight and reached his fifty off just 33 balls.
The 89-partnership between Thala and Rohit came to an end when the latter was dismissed by R Divakar for a 30-ball 32. That started a mini-collapse for Madurai as Shijit Chandran (5), Thala and R Karthikeyan (6) were dismissed in a space of 23 balls and 25 runs and it reduced Madurai to 118/5 after 15 overs.
Some late blitz from J Kousik and Abhishek Tanwar took them to 167/8 in their 20 overs. Thala top-scored for Madurai with 62 off 40 balls with the help of one six and seven sixes while R Divakar and Deepan Lingesh took three wickets apiece for Veerans.
Chasing 168 to win, Veerans were off to a sedate start as they lost V Subramania Siva early and Vishal Vaidya and B Aparajith failed to put runs on the board inside the first six overs. Though they hit some sixes occasionally, Veerans were in a spot of bother and it became even worse when Vishal (31 off 34), Aparajith (29 off 27) and the hero from their last match, Francis Rokins (7 off 5) departed in quick succession.
Mokit Hariharan, who has impressed everyone in the TNPL so far, showed some fight towards the end with a 27-ball 34 but that wasn't enough for Veerans as they fell short by 11 runs. J Kousik and Abhishek Tanwar were the picks of the bowlers with two wickets apiece while CV Varun finished with 1-21 in his four overs.
Turning point: Veerans' poor catching let Thalaivan Sargunam continue batting on two occasions and later, the right-hander made him pay by scoring a 40-ball 62.
Brief scores: VB Kanchi Veerans 156/6 in 20 overs (Mokit Hariharan 34, Vishal Vaidya 31, J Kousik 2/25, Abhishek Tanwar 2/40) lost to Siechem Madurai Panthers 167/8 in 20 overs (Thalaivan Sargunam 62, D Rohit 32, R Divakar 3/25) by 11 runs.
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