Karaikudi moves to the top after win against Dindigul

By NT Bureau Published on Jul 31, 2018 02:33 PM IST

IDream Karaikudi Kaalai moved to the top of the points table in the 2018 Sankar Cement-TNPL league phase after pulling off a spectacular six-wicket win over the Dindigul Dragons at the ICL Sankar Nagar ground in Tirunelveli on Monday.

Chasing 178 runs for victory, Karaikudi Kaalai openers began in thunderous fashion by scoring 81 runs in Powerplay. Captain Srikkanth Anirudha 43 (18b, 4x4, 3x6) and V Aaditya 49 (29b, 6x4, 2x6) provided the perfect start with an opening stand of 94 from 46 balls.

The Kaalai's middle-order took control of the chase after the openers departed and steadily marched towards the target. R Rajkumar, batting at No 3, closed out the chase with an unbeaten 41 (31b, 3x4, 2x6).

It was Kaalai's fourth consecutive win after losing their opening match in the Super Over. With a superior NRR they displaceDindigul Dragons at the top.

Earlier, opting to bat, Dragons began cautiously and the innings meandered to 107/3 in 15 overs with B Anirudh making 53 (42b, 5x4, 1x6). R Vivek then hit left-arm spinner Mohan Prasath for 32 runs (6, 6, 4, 6, 6, 4) in one over, the most in an over in the Sankar Cement-TNPL history.

The blitz from Vivek 42 (13b, 2x4, 5x6) lifted the Dragons to 146/4 in 16.3 overs. However, in the next 21 balls, the Dragons managed only 31 runs and lost six wickets.

Pacer Ashwath Mukunthan, playing his first match of the season for iDream Karaikudi Kaalai, picked up 5-36 with clever use of well-disguised slower balls. Dindigul Dragons ultimately folded up for 177 all out in 20 overs.

Speaking about his fifer, Ashwath Mukundan said, "I have been lucky (tonight) but I have worked very hard for this. I don\92t play with the aim of taking five wickets but when the five-for comes, I am very happy about it. Going forward, I want to be more consistent. For me performing consistently for the team is very important."

"Over the years, I have been working hard on developing the slower ball. I have tried a lot of variations. I think it is crucial to time the slower balls correctly. If you bowl them too much, you will be predictable. So I am working on that and I am trying to upgrade myself with variations," he said about his slower that he used effectively.

"They played really well and in the first six overs (Powerplay) they were 81 without loss. Our bowlers did reasonably well but in T20 format you can\92t say anything as it's a momentum game. I felt in the Powerplay itself they won the game," said Dindigul batsman Anirudh Sita Ram.