All-rounder Mokit Hariharan ensured Dindigul finished strongly by smashing 32 not out off 15 balls.
Chennai, July 30: Dindigul Dragons batted and bowled brilliantly to register a big 76-run victory over Salem Spartans in their Shriram Capital Tamil Nadu Premier League match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Friday.
After posting a strong total of 185, Dindigul bowlers led by left-arm pacer Rangaraj Suthesh (2-7) and off-spinner S Swaminathan (2-8) skittled out Spartans for a lowly 109 in 18.4 overs. It was the third win on the trot for the last season’s finalists, who rose to the top spot with 6 points from four matches.
Dindigul coach Subramaniam Badrinath felt they had hit upon the right combination. “Of course, it’s a good feeling to win three matches in a row after the first match loss. The good thing is I think we’ve found the combination; we found our strengths so that’s what we’re doing. We are getting used to the conditions and the ground dimensions, and I have started to know what we have in hand and that’s the thing I feel most confident about. I’m a happy man,” he said.
Murugan Ashwin’s efforts in vain
Barring Murugan Ashwin (47 off 38 balls) who waged a lone battle, no other Spartan batsmen took on the Dindigul bowlers. The Spartans were also undone by two run-outs of opener Akshay Srinivasan (5) and R Karthikeyan (0). Incidentally, only three batsmen could attain double figures, which indicates the control exercised by the Dindigul bowlers.
Earlier, captain C Hari Nishaanth and all-rounder Vivek Raj played key roles in Dindigul racing to 185-6 in 20 overs.
While Nishaanth held the innings together with a responsible 52 off 42 balls (2 fours, 3 sixes), Vivek justified his promotion to the No.3 position by striking a belligerent 59 off 41 balls (6 fours, 4 sixes). The 31-year-old Vivek dominated the second partnership of 76 off 53 balls with his captain whose contribution was a mere 8. But Hari Nishaanth switched gears once Vivek and Mani Bharathy (0) were dismissed in succession by pacer TD Lokesh Raj, by hitting 36 runs off just 20 balls.
Dindigul step on the gas after a sedate start
All-rounder Mokit Hariharan ensured Dindigul finished strongly by smashing 32 not out off 15 balls (3 fours, 2 sixes).
Vivek Raj said the faith shown by coach Subramaniam Badrinath spurred him to do well. “He (Badrinath) had full faith in me and told me that I would do well in this game and motivated me so that confidence helped me score big,” he said.
The Dindigul batsmen played out 56 dot balls, nearly nine overs, most of them coming in the first half of the innings when their score read 65-1. In the next 10 overs, they smashed 120 runs.
Lokesh Raj (3-33) was the best bowler for Spartans, who won the toss and put Dindigul into bat. “My plan was to bowl hard length balls,” Lokesh said.
Dindigul Dragons 185-6 in 20 overs (Vivek Raj 59, Hari Nishaanth 52, Mokit Hariharan 32*; Lokesh Raj 3-33, M Ganesh Moorthi 1-28, G Periyasamy 1-36, M Ashwin 1-40) won to Salem Spartans 109 in 18.4 overs (M Ashwin 47, U Sushil 15; S Swaminathan 2-8, R Suthesh 2-7, Gurjapneet Singh 1-32, M Silambarasan 1-24) by 76 runs.