Dindigul Dragons marched into the semi-final of the India Cements TN Premier League as they earned a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Karaikudi Kaalai at the NPR College Ground in Natham on Sunday.
Brief scores:Karaikudi Kaalai 125 for 9 (Srikkanth Anirudha 36, 29b, 1x4, 2x6, T Natarajan 4/21, M Ashwin 3/30) lost to Dindigul Dragons 126 for 3 (Sridhar Raju 56 not out, 48b, 5x4, 2x6, Wilkins Victor 50, 35b, 5x4, 2x6, Ganga Ganapathy Chandrasekar 2/23) by seven wickets.
Both teams now have a game more to play in the league stage. Kaalai, who won the toss and chose to bat, got off to a slow start as they lost both the openers in the power-play. Anirudha Srikkanth (36) and skipper S Badrinath (27) tried to resuscitate the Kaalai innings with a steady 36-ball 30-run partnership in the middle overs. Badrinath was later dismissed by R Ashwin as he hit a shot right into the latter’s hands.
Kaalai hit a roadblock post the loss of Badrinath and lost wickets at regular intervals. Though Srikkanth tried to accelerate the innings still Kaalai never looked good enough to score a big total. Their lower-order had no answers to T Natarajan’s (4 for 21) Yorkers which yielded wickets in the death overs. Even M Ashwin (3 for 30) had a good match as he tormented Kaalai to no end. Kaalai could only manage 125 for 9 after losing wickets at regular intervals.
Dragons, who tweaked their batting line-up, lost the wicket of skipper Subramanium Siva to Chandrasekar Ganapathy, thus giving Kaalai hope. Jagadeesan was Ganapathy’s next victim after the former hit a shot straight to Suresh Babu at mid-on. But Ganga Sridhar Raju and Wilkins Victor stitched a partnership of 89 from deliveries 59 and ensured that Dragons were on their way to the semi-finals.
Both batsmen completed half centuries and made sure that Dragons, who crossed the finish line with 21 balls to spare, became the first team to qualify for the semifinals.
*Report courtesy TNPL Media