Aswin Crist was the pick of the Tamizhans attack conceding 26 runs from his four overs and claiming one wicket.

Daryl Sundar Ferrario
Daryl Sundar Ferrario of Salem Spartans. (Photo by: R. Parthibhan/Focus Sports/ TNPL)

Chennai, July 24: Salem Spartans’ marquee bowling attack stepped up to make a strong defence of a competitive total and carved out a 16-run victory over iDream Tiruppur Tamizhans in their Shriram Capital Tamil Nadu Premier League match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Saturday.

Fast bowler Ganeshan Periyasamy (2-22), leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin (2-27) and pacer Vijay Shankar (1-25) enacted lead roles in restricting the Tiruppur Tamizhans to 148 for 8 in 20 overs.

The 27-year-old Periyasamy continued to enthral like he did in the last season with his pace variations and rarely gave any room to the batsmen to play their shots. Ashwin was equally effective mixing his googlies and leg-breaks to pick two crucial wickets and Vijay Shankar, who bowled the only maiden over in the match, too didn’t give much away.

Francis Rokins’ efforts in vain

Fast bowler B Praanesh, who bowled the last over with the Tamizhans needing 24 runs, kept up the good work of his predecessors by conceding just seven runs and claiming two wickets.

All-rounder Francis Rokins made a bold attempt to steal the thunder from the Spartans with a superb 58 off 48 balls (7 fours, 1 six) but the asking rate was too steep and he fell, going for a big hit in the final over. Maan Bafna (20 off 15 balls) was the only other batsman who stood up to the attack in the company of the 33-year-old Rokins, garnering 57 runs in 40 balls for the fourth wicket, which incidentally was the best partnership of the match.

Rokins believes his team’s fightback augurs well for the upcoming matches. “We are a young side that has practised well. We tried to execute our plans but a couple of things are lacking, which we will fix in the next game,” said the all-rounder from Madurai.

The Tiruppur Tamizhans who were struggling at 56 for 3 at the halfway mark made an impressive dash collecting 92 runs in the remaining 10 but it was not enough. They logged 56 dot balls in their innings, which meant they didn’t score a run in more than nine overs, another telling statistic where they lost the game.

Daryl Ferrario steps up

Earlier, opener Abishiek Selvakumar and captain Daryl Ferrario were the fulcra of the Spartans innings. Abishiek, who struck 38 off 31 balls (4 fours, 1 six) anchored the first half of the innings by stringing a 49-run alliance off 40 balls with No.3 Akshay Srinivasan (23 off 24 balls, 2 fours). The 21-year-old was run out by an alert fast bowler Aswin Crist in the 10th over. Srinivasan too followed suit in the next over, falling prey to a short ball from the Tamizhans captain M Mohammed.

Thereafter, Ferrario took charge in the company of the seasoned Vijay Shankar (26 runs off 20 balls, 4 fours) and together they raised the highest partnership of the innings worth 52 runs. Just when it seemed they were set to raise the tempo, Vijay Shankar fell, drilling a full toss from pacer Rajappa Rajkumar straight into the hands of deep midwicket fielder Maan Bafna.

Ferrario continued gamely but the innings had lost momentum and Spartans settled for 164-5 in 20 overs. The 23-year-old emerged as the highest scorer before he made his exit on the penultimate ball of the innings, trying to force the pace off Aswin Crist.

Earlier, opener KH Gopinath, who scored 16 off 12 balls, became the fourth batsman to cross the 1,000-run mark in the tournament following Narayan Jagadeesan, KB Arun Karthick and Kaushik Gandhi.

Aswin Crist was the pick of the Tamizhans attack conceding 26 runs from his four overs and claiming one wicket.

Abishiek was delighted that he could repose the faith shown in him by the team management. “They supported me and asked me to play my game freely so that’s what I did,” he said.

Brief scores: Salem Spartans 164-5 in 20 overs ( Daryl S Ferrario 40, Abishiek S 38, Vijay Shankar 26, Akshay V Srinivasan 23; Aswin Crist 1-26, Gowtham Thamarai Kannan 1-30, R Rajkumar 1-31, M Mohammed 1-35) won to iDream Tiruppur Tamizhans 148-8 in 20 overs (Francis Rokins 58, Maan Bafna 20; G Periyaswamy 2-22, M Ashwin 2-27, B Praanesh 2-26) by 16 runs.


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