Dindigul Dragons confirm playoff spot with fifth win; Murali Vijay’s 99 goes in vain
Natham, Dindigul, August 3: Narayan Jagadeesan did what Murali Vijay couldn’t, to help Dindigul Dragons get past Ruby Trichy Warriors by five wickets in the 4th Sankar Cement Tamil Nadu Twenty20 Premier League (TNPL) at the NPR College Ground, here on Saturday evening.
Jagadeesan scored a superb century while Vijay missed it narrowly by one run as both batsmen unleashed a brilliant exhibition of batting display to the delight of the thousands, who had turned up for the match.
Vijay’s 99 off 62 balls that contained 7 fours and 7 sixes was the high point in Ruby Trichy Warriors’ 178-3 in 20 overs. The 24-year-old Jagadeesan put that innings to shade with an unbeaten 105 off 60 balls, laden with 12 fours and 4 sixes.
Incidentally, it was the highest score for both batsmen. Jagadeesan’s previous best was 87 not out against Siechem Madurai Panthers at the India Cements Limited-Sankar Nagar ground, Tirunelveli last month. The Coimbatore opener leads the run-tally of the season with 340 runs from five games and Vijay is not far off with 258 from three matches.
DD became the first team to qualify for the Playoffs with an all-win record from five matches. They top the standings with 10 points and look good to repeat last year’s performance when they topped the league phase. In contrast, victory continues to elude RTW, who crashed to their fifth defeat and are out of contention for a Playoff spot.
Set a challenging target, DD’s opening combo of Jagadeesan and the left-handed C Hari Nishanth (21 off 12 balls, 1 four, 2 sixes) began in right earnest with the latter smoking a six and four off the second over bowled by pacer P Saravana Kumar. Nishanth continued his big hitting in the next over by picking a four and six off pacer Lakshminarayanan Vignesh.
Nishanth, however, was run out after failing to beat Sarvana Kumar’s direct hit from mid-on. The fall of wicket for 34 runs in the 4th over, slowed down the proceedings for DD as Jagadeesan and NS Chaturved (20 off 22 balls) began the repair job raising 58 runs from 53 balls. Chaturved was dismissed in the 13th over, edging Saravana Kumar to wicketkeeper Bharathy. New batsman Ashwin (1) too did not last long as he was run out in the next over.
DD appeared to be in a spot of bother at that time, as they still needed 83 runs off 40 balls, with seven wickets in hand.
But Jagadeesan and Rajendran Vivek (29 off 15 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes) turned the tables on their rivals with some crazy hitting in the 16th and 17th overs. They picked on pacer M Poiyamozhi, smashing 27 runs in his third over. Jagadeesan began with a four and two sixes in the first three balls and Vivek finished it with a four and a six off the last two.
Jagadeesan then feasted on Vijay’s off-spin, striking a four and two sixes in succession as DD smacked 48 runs in just nine balls. The Jagadeesan-Vivek alliance for the 4th wicket was the most productive for DD as it netted 81 runs from 30 balls.
Jagadeesan reached the three-figure mark with a single off left-arm spinner Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore. His second fifty came off just 18 balls and was laden with 4 fours and 4 sixes, while his first fifty came off 40 balls and contained 7 fours.
The only time RTW came close to dismissing Jagadeesan was in the 12th over when RTW wicketkeeper Bharathy missed a stumping off left-arm spinner MS Sanjay. The batsman was then on 48 and DD’s score 90-1.
DD whacked 68 off the last 4.1 overs, with Jagadeesan scoring 50, including the winning boundary off Saravana Kumar.
Amidst the mayhem in the last quarter of the innings, Sai Kishore struck twice in the 19th over to delay DD’s win. The RTW captain, who spent some time with former India leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan before the match, was the most impressive bowler in the match returning figures of 4-1-16-2.
Earlier, Murali Vijay produced an innings of high quality to drive RTW to their highest total of the season. The innings was built on a 106-run opening wicket partnership between Vijay and Karunkaran Mukunth (43 off 40b, 6 fours).
Vijay was unlucky to miss the three-figure by one run and it required a brilliant fielding effort to end his tenure in the 20th over. His sliced shot off Kaushik was grabbed by NS Chaturved, who leapt backwards at backward point and grabbed it one-handed in mid-air. Small consolation for Vijay was that it was his highest score in the league following his 81 against iDream Karaikudi Kaalai at the same venue last month.
During his classy innings, the India star changed his bat once, batted left-handed while facing Ravichandran Ashwin and also won the battle against the Dindigul Dragons’ captain by clouting him for two big sixes. The 35-year-old opener’s first big scoring shot was a top-edged six off Kaushik, that was also a no-ball. He grabbed the extra gift by clouting the next ball for a six over long-off for another six.
He went after left-arm spinner M Silambarasan as well with a lofted six over extra cover and two fours, all in succession. Vijay also relished the pace of M Mohammed taking 29 runs from 12 balls, striking three fours and two sixes.
It was Vijay’s tussle with Ashwin that was most entertaining. The star off-spinner’s first two overs (2-0-13-0) were relatively quiet affairs with Vijay content in taking singles. But when Ashwin began to unleash his bag of tricks, with his odd action, Vijay too decided to unsettle the bowler by batting left-handed. It did create an impact as the bowler bowled a no-ball and the extra delivery was duly despatched into the stands. In Ashwin’s next over, Vijay carted him for his biggest six of the innings.
After Vijay’s dismissal in the 19th over, wicketkeeper Mani Bharathy (18 off 4 balls) finished the innings with a flourish by smashing a four and two sixes off Koushik.
Both teams stay put in Dindigul for the next round of matches. While DD face VB Kanchi Veerans on Monday (August 5), RTW meet Tuti Patriots the next day on Tuesday (August 6).
Brief scores: Ruby Trichy Warriors 178-3 in 20 overs (Karunakaran Mukunth 43, Murali Vijay 99; Jagannathan Koushik 2-45) lost to Dindigul Dragons 182-5 in 20 overs(Narayan Jagadeesan 105 not out, Rajendran Vivek 29; Sai Kishore 2-16) by five wickets.
Toss: DD, elected to bowl
Points:Ruby Trichy Warriors 2; Dindigul Dragons 0
Umpires:MG Saidarshan Kumar, M Ashwin Kumar. TV umpire: M Madhu. Match referee:Vijayalakshmi.
Sankar Cement Man of the Match: Narayan Jagadeesan (DD)
Sankar Cement Maximum 6s: Murali Vijay (RTW)
TCM-Nippon Paint Atom Best All-rounder:Sai Kishore (RTW)
SNJ VSOP Adhiradhi Four:Narayan Jagadeesan (DD)
BKT Tyres Commander of the Match: Narayan Jagadeesan (DD)
Sprite Juicy+ Refreshing Player: Rajendran Vivek (DD)
TVS Most Valuable Player of the Match:Murali Vijay (RTW)
Sharon Ply Strong Performer of the Match:NS Chaturved (DD)
|Chepauk Super Gillies||5||4||1||8||+1.981|
|VB Kanchi Veerans||5||3||2||6||+0.836|
|Siechem Madurai Panthers||5||3||2||6||+0.490|
|Lyca Kovai Kings||5||2||3||4||-0.214|
|iDream Karaikudi Kaalai||5||1||4||2||-2.506|
|Ruby Trichy Warriors||5||0||5||0||-0.778|