CHENNAI: Dindigul Dragons defeated Siechem Madurai Panthers by 75 runs at the NPR College ground in Natham on Thursday in Qualifier 1 to book a spot in the Tamil Nadu Premier League final. Madurai will meet the winner of Eliminator between Lyca Kovai Kings and iDream Karaikudi Kaalai in Qualifier 2 to be played in Natham on Friday.
Put into bat first, Dindigul got off to a flying start with Hari Nishaanth 57 in 31 balls and skipper N Jagadeesan 43 off 34 balls blasting 90 in just 9.1 overs. Coming down at one, R Vivek smashed 54 off 25 balls with two fours and six sixes. Spinner Varun Chakravarthy was the standout bowler for the Madurai with 0/15 in his four overs. Dindigul finished with season’s highest total of 203/6 in 20 overs.
Chasing a mammoth target, Madurai lost batting mainstay KB Arun Karthik for 11 and collapsed to 128 all out. After Karthik’s exit, none of their batsmen were able to find runs as wickets kept falling at regular intervals. M Mohammed picked up three for 16 for Dindigul.
“The pitch here is flat, we did not expect it to be so flat but we should have implemented our plans better,” Madurai’s Varun said after the loss. “Once we knew that the pitch was playing well, we should have bowled more dot balls rather than going hard at the batsman. Straight boundaries here are small, we could have kept them to singles when they were striking hard but we were unable to that.
We definitely need to bowl better, if plan A fails we need to switch to plan B which we did not do today. We should have adjusted to the pitch better than what we managed.” Dindigul’s bowler M Abhinav said: “As a team we focused on the basics and kept things simple. We knew we had firepower down the order, and so it was very important that we get a good start today. And our openers did just that.”
In the Eliminator, Lyca Kovai Kings defended a total of 137 against iDream Karikudi Kaalai as they were bowled out for 113. Kovai will meet Madurai on Friday in Qualifier 2 in Natham.
Brief scores: Qualifier 1: Dindigul Dragons 203/6 in 20 ovs (Nishaanth 57, Jagadeesan 43, Vivek 54; Jaganath 3/42) bt Siechem Madurai Panthers 128 in 19.3 ovs (Mohammed 3/16, Trilok 2/17, Abhinav 2/26). Eliminator: Lyca Kovai Kings 137/8 in 20 ovs (Abhinav 51; Rajkumar 4/30, Kishan 2/27) bt iDream Karaikudi Kaalai 113 in 19.4 ovs (Bafna 40; Natarajan 4/24).