Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu), Sep 2: Dindigul Dragons, without their captain Ravichandran Ashwin, continued their winning run in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) Twenty20 tournament as they beat VB Thiruvallur Veerans by 29 runs at the India Cements Limited Ground at Sankarnagar, Tirunelveli, on Thursday (September 1).
Veerans were restricted to 134 for 9 as they failed to hunt down the required target of 164. Ashwin, who played a game after returning from the West Indies tour, missed this match. In his absence V Siva Subramania captained the side.
Earlier, Jagadeesan Narayanan's superb 87 ensured that Dragons put on a more than competitive total on board. Dragons, who won the toss and opted to bat first in windy conditions, started steadily and were helped by some sub-standard fielding by the Veerans.
Narayanan got a life-line when he was dropped on 19 by Hari Nishaanth at first-slip off Rahil Shah. He started slowly and paced his innings well and also cleared the gaps by using his feet against the spinners.
Narayanan was ably supported by Ganga Sridhar Raju (45) and the duo rotated the strike well in addition to playing a variety of shots.
Dragons accelerated in the 10th over when Narayanan hit a lofted six off Malolan Rangarajan. Shah (0 for 23) despite being economical in his first spell was punished in his third over.
Dragons took just three and a half overs to complete their other 50 as they touched the 100-run mark in 13.4 overs.
Jaganath Sinivas (1 for 20), the most successful bowler for Veerans, broke the 127-run opening partnership when he bowled Ganga Sridhar.
A couple of run-outs didn't deter Narayanan as he kept the runs coming and bypassed Baba Aparajith as the top-scorer of the tournament.
Abhishek Tanwar's (0 for 30) yielded 20 runs which ensured that Dragons crossed the 160-run mark by losing only three wickets and scoring 100 off the last 10 overs.
Guru Kedarnath (1 for 21) struck early on for Dragons as he dismissed Hari Nishaanth (3) in the third over.
Also, Dragons' bowlers didn't let Veerans score easy runs as the latter finished on 31 for 1 at the end of power-play.
Thereafter M Ashwin (3 for 27) sent back NS Chaturved in his very first over. It was followed by a run-out of Lakshmi Narayanan (2). Sanjay Yadav's (53) counter attacking knock gave a ray of hope for Veerans.
Yadav hit six huge sixes and a boundary before being bowled by T Natarajan (3 for 27). A flurry of wickets fell as Malolan Rangarajan (17) and R Kavin (4) were dismissed in back-to- back overs. Tanwar (9) was dismissed after holing out to MS Sanjay at long off.
Natarajan then struck in the same over as he removed GV Vignesh (2) thanks to a diving catch by Jagadeesan behind the stumps.
With more than 50 runs required in the last three overs, Veerans couldn't get going as they crashed to their first loss in the tournament.
Brief Scores: Dindigul Dragons 163/3 in 20 overs (N Jagadeesan 87, 69b, 10x4, 1x6, Ganga Sridhar Raju 45, 43b, 5x4s, Jaganath Sinivas 1/20) beat VB Thiruvallur Veerans 134/9 in 20 overs (Sanjay Yadav 53, 31b, 1x4, 6x6, T Natarajan 3/27, M Ashwin 3/27) by 29 runs.