Dindigul: Dindigul Dragons turned in a brilliant batting and bowling display to snuff out defending champions Siechem Madurai Panthers in Qualifier 2 of the Tamil Nadu Premier League at the NPR College Ground here Tuesday.
After posting a hefty 175-6 in 20 overs, the league toppers bowled out the defending champions for 130 in 19.5 overs for an emphatic 45-run victory. DD, who had lost to Chepauk Super Gillies in Qualifier 1 by five runs at the India Cements Limited-Sankar Nagar Ground, Tirunelveli, will meet the same opponents again in the final Thursday (15 August) at M A Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.
SMP’s innings began to unravel once their best batsman KB Arun Karthick (11 off 8 balls, 2 fours) was dismissed in the third over, pulling pacer Rohit Ramalingam straight to deep midwicket where Mohan Abhinav juggled it before catching it on the second attempt. The way DD players celebrated and rushed to Mohan indicated how prized Karthick’s wicket was.
Spinners Mohan Abhinav (2-18) and Munnusamy Silambarasan (3-18) then took over and did most of the damage to SMP.
Leg-spinner Abhinav twisted the knife further with a double-wicket maiden by first dismissing SMP wicketkeeper Nilesh Subramanian (12), who lifted the bowler straight into long off fielder Rajendran Vivek. He then flummoxed Sarath with a googly and bowled him.
Thereafter Jagateesan Kousik (40 off 32 balls, 2 fours, 3 sixes) waged a lone battle and was the highest scorer for the team.Pacer Rohit Ramalingam (3-20) however cleaned up the tail by picking two wickets in his last over.
Earlier, a late charge by N S Chaturved (35 off 13 balls, 1 four, 4 sixes) and MMohammed (32 off 9 balls, 2 fours, 3 sixes) powered DD to a strong total, who decided to bat first after winning the toss. The last year’s finalists smashed 73 runs in the last five overs with both batsmen together raining seven sixes and three fours.
Chaturved and Mohammed’s late assault provided a grand finish to the innings after openers Narayan Jagadeesan (50 off 48 balls, 4 fours, 1 six) and C Hari Nishaanth (51 off 46 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes) had patiently raised 101 runs in 14.4 overs for the first wicket.