TNPL: Dindigul notches up first win

By NT Bureau Published on Jul 14, 2018 02:53 PM IST

Tirunelveli: R Vivek top scored in the Dindigul Dragons' innings with a 33-ball 70 that helped register their first win in the TNPL 2018 against Madurai Panthers at the ICL ground in Tirunelveli on Friday.

Chasing 170 for victory, Dindigul Dragons started well with Nishanth's breezy cameo, but it was Ashwin's decision to promote Vivek that proved critical. 169 was definitely not a threatening total, but the Dragons made a mockery with their exceptional batting skills.

Vivek, the finisher went ballistic from ball one, putting immense pressure on the bowlers as he blazed away to a whirlwind fifty. He finished unbeaten 70 from 33 balls with 8 fours and 3 sixes. Aiding him was vice-captain Jagadeesan, who smashed the bowling around as well albeit a bit more measured than his partner. Jagadeesan and Vivek added 125 for the unfinished second wicket, and the duo's heroics made short work of the chase with almost five overs left.

Vivek was adjudged as the man of the match. "I feel really happy that I have been able to justify the trust shown by Ashwin and the coaches. I was told that the fast bowlers will bowl short and also about how the left arm spinners will bowl. The management told me to play my natural game and it worked," he said.

Captain Ravichandran Ashwin said that the team believed in Vivek's skills. "Vivek is still a raw product, and we picked him after observing his performance in one of the practice games. He was actually going to play in the second division league, but we believed in him. I think he has shown tremendous improvement, and he has the ability to learn rapidly. His knock tonight was very pleasing."

For the Panthers, the top three clicked with Arun Karthik's fifty, setting the tone for the innings. However, it was their bowling that let them down. "I think we bowled poorly tonight, we should have bowled better. We will have to work on our fielding as well," said KB Arun Karthik after the match.

For Ashwin, there are still some concerns regarding his team's catching and fielding as they were poor again. However, Ashwin had a good outing, often confusing the batsmen with lot of variations. "I've developed a lot more variations, and tournaments like these allow me to experiment," said Ashwin.

After the win,  Ashwin's men have a huge net run rate boost as well, and this will be crucial as the tournament goes along.