Hari Nishaanth and Jagadeesan sink Karaikudi

Tirunelveli: Dindigul Dragons’ openers C Hari Nishaanth and Narayan Jagadeesan rewrote the record books of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) with their 161-run partnership to down iDream Karaikudi Kaalai by 10 wickets at the Sankar Nagar ground, here on Monday.

After captain Aniruda Srikkanth struck his highest score in TNPL (98 off 59 balls, 7 fours, 7 sixes) to power iDKK to 158-7 in 20 overs, the in-form DD openers capitalised on their rivals’ lapses in the field to record an emphatic victory with three overs to spare.

It was DD’s fourth victory on the trot and they continue to be the only unbeaten team in the league so far. They top the standings with eight points from four games.

Nishaanth struck 81 not out off 56 balls (4 fours, 5 sixes) while Jagadeesan slammed 78 not out off 47 balls, (7 fours, 3 sixes) during their record-breaking partnership which turned out to be the highest for all wickets in the tournament. The previous best was of 145 runs for the second wicket between VB Thiravallur Veerans’ Baba Aparajith and NS Chaturved against Ruby Trichy Warriors here in 2016.

It also bettered the previous best opening partnership of 144 runs between Thalaivan Sargunam (72 runs) and KH Gopinath (69 runs) of Chepauk Super Gillies against Dindigul Dragons at the NPR College ground, Natham, Dindigul in 2016.

The left-handed Nishaanth was particularly brutal, taking the bowlers to the cleaners early on in the innings. He did not allow the iDKK bowlers to settle into any rhythm. He went after left-arm spinner S Mohan Prasath tonking two sixes and a four in succession and there was no looking back as they raced to 58-0 after the Powerplay.

While Nishanth was all fire and brimstone at the start, Jagadeesan was in cruise control chipping away with boundaries before he finished the match with a couple of sixes in the 17th over off left-arm spinner Maan K Bafna.

Earlier, iDKK captain Aniruda led from the front after winning the toss and deciding to bat first. No other fellow batsmen dominated the DD attack as the 32-year-old, who was unlucky to miss a deserving hundred, holing out in the deep off the last ball of the innings.
iDKK were earlier boosted by the inclusion of their international star Dinesh Karthik, who was playing his first match for the franchise in two years. Last year he had missed out as he was on national duty in England. The star battle between Karthik and Ashwin lasted only for two overs. The iDKK wicketkeeper played across to an Ashwin off-break, in his second over and was bowled.

Both teams travel to NPR College ground, Natham, Dindigul for the next round of matches. iDKK face Tuti Patriots on Thursday (1 August) while DD meet Ruby Trichy Warriors on Saturday (3 August).

Brief scores: iDream Karaikudi Kaalai 158-7 in 20 overs (L Surya Prakash 20, Aniruda Srikkanth 98, Dinesh Karthik 17; Rohit Ramalingam 2-23, M Silambarasan 1-24, M Mohammed 2-43) lost
to Dindigul Dragons 161-0 in 17 overs(C Hari Nishaanth 81 not out, Narayan Jagadeesan 78 not out).