Madurai Panthers eye first victory in TNPL

Chennai: A new-look Madurai Panthers will take on Dindigul Dragons in the second match of the Sankar Cement-TNPL at the ICL Sankar Nagar ground in Tirunelveli on Friday following some exhilarating opening day action.

Madurai Panthers carries a different look this time around with new owners, also appointing a new captain for TNPL Season 3.

Although it failed to win a game in the first two seasons, skipper Rohit Damodaren brushed aside those failures saying the team enters the competition with a fresh and clear mind set.

"We are not thinking about the last two seasons. We have a new team this year and the support staff, technical and non-technical, are all different from the previous years. In fact, there are not many players from the past two seasons in the current squad. So we are going in with an open mind this season, and the boys have gelled well. I hope things will look good for us," he said.

The team possesses veterans like wicketkeeper-batsman Arun Karthick, all-rounder Thalaivan Sargunam and a big hitter in SP Nathan. It also has promising Under-19 players in Tushar Raheja and Lokesh Raj.

"T20 cricket is all about experience. We have two immensely experienced players in Thalaivan Sargunam and KB Arun Karthik. We have come together in the last one month and everyone is contributing. We are not a one-coach, one-captain team, everyone is included and all are playing as a team. I think that will be our strength this season," said the captain of Madurai Panthers.

Meanwhile, Dindigul Dragons will look to bounce back from the last-over defeat to Ruby Trichy Warriors in the inaugural match. Dragons put on challenging 172 after opting to bat.

The bowling effort, however, fell short as S Suresh Kumar and Sonu Yadav turned on the heat to hand Warriors their first win.

The lone bright spot in Dragons\92 bowling performance was that of left-arm spinner K Vignesh who took 1 for 20 in his four overs.

Siechem Madurai Panthers will rely heavily on the experience of Arun Karthick to show the way while ace off-spinner Ashwin will want to get his team on the points table as soon as possible.


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