Last season finalists down Trichy by five wickets.

RS Mokit Hariharan
RS Mokit Hariharan. (Photo by: Sandeep Shetty/Focus Sports/ TNPL)

Chennai, July 27: Mokit Hariharan put his hand up when Dindigul Dragons needed him the most and the left-hander shepherded the side to a five-wicket victory over Ruby Trichy Warriors in their Shriram Capital Tamil Nadu Premier League at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old hit an unbeaten 41 off 26 balls (4 fours, 1 six) just when Trichy were tightening the screws. The all-rounder’s efforts ensured the last season finalists attained the target of 146 in the final over and they finished on 149 for 5 in 19.2 overs.

Captain C Hari Nishaanth earlier led from the front to give Dindigul a fluent start. The left-hander, who made it to the Chennai Super Kings team this season, struck 38 off 26 balls (6 fours) and more importantly raised 67 runs off 50 balls for the first wicket with S Arun (19 off 27 balls, 2 fours).

Nishaant felt the initial surge was crucial in the final analysis. “The wicket was not that easy. It wasn’t a big total but 146 was a dicey one so I thought our display in the powerplay won us the match,” he said.

He also had a word of praise for Mokit. “He was under the pump but he delivered when it mattered. We all know what he is capable of and we are not surprised that he did it,” Nishaanth said.

Trichy left-arm spinners Rahil Shah (2-25) and M Mathivanan (1-26) had Dindigul in a spot of bother by not only choking the run flow but also claiming three wickets. Between the 11th  and 13th overs they conceded just six runs, picking the wickets of Nishaanth and S Lokesh (9), with captain Shah bowling a wicket maiden.

But Mokit broke the shackles by going after Shah, picking 15 runs and Dindigul were back in the hunt again. Trichy failed to get going thereafter with a few misfields adding to their miseries.

Captain Rahil Shah admitted his side failed to capitalise on the crucial moments in the game. “Probably the start to our innings was a bit slow. We took a little longer than normal and played too many dot balls (49 in all). That cost us and I thought we were 10-12 runs short of our par score. Plus in fielding we had a few misfields and 10-12 runs were lost there,” he said.

Earlier, Trichy had to battle hard to post 145-5 in 20 overs. Their innings was built around the third-wicket partnership of 65 runs from 46 balls between Nidhish Rajagopal (45 off 33 balls, 2 fours, 2 six) and Muhammed Adnan Khan (26 off 24 balls, 2 sixes). The left-right combination did well to provide stability to the innings but once Adnan was dismissed by pacer Vivek Raj, the much-needed acceleration was lacking in the end.

Openers VP Amith Sathvik (12 off 17 balls) and Sumant Jain (22 off 28 balls, 2 fours, 1 six) had earlier provided a sedate start raising 36 runs in 6.1 overs. Both batsmen were in the hut by the eighth over trying to force the pace of the innings.

Left-arm pacer Gurjapneet Singh, was the pick of the Dindigul attack. The 23-year-old bowled a remarkable second spell at the finish, conceding just 10 runs in his last two overs to end with figures of 2-24.

Brief scores: Ruby Trichy Warriors 145-5 in 20 overs (Nidhish Rajagopal 45, M Adnan Khan 26, Sumant Jain 22; Gurjapneet Singh 2-24, R Vivek 1-14, S Swaminathan 1-22) lost to Dindigul Dragons 149-5 in 19.2 overs (Mokit Hariharan 41*, Hari Nishaanth 38, S Arun 19; M Poiyamozhi 2-24, Rahil Shah 2-25, M Mathivanan 1-26) by 5 wickets.


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