Mani Bharathi, Nishaanth stun Kovai Kings

Mani Bharathi, Nishaanth stun Kovai Kings, the vie

Having been bowled out for just 96 in its opening match, Dindigul Dragons on Sunday turned it around in style as it thrashed Lyca Kovai Kings by five wickets, chasing a mammoth target of 202 in just 18 overs in the Tamil Nadu Premier League here.

K. Mani Bharathi (81, 32b, 8×4, 5×6) and skipper C. Hari Nishaanth (70, 37b, 6×4, 5×6) wreaked havoc in the second match of the day at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium with brutal power-hitting as Dragons created history for the highest total chased in the tournament.

Blazing start

Mani, who walked in at No. 3, made his intentions clear from the beginning smashing a six and two fours off the first three balls he faced off left-arm seamer E. Srinivasan. He punished the medium-pacers, hitting them at will.

At the other end, Hari started slowly and found his groove when he took on the left-arm spinner M. Ajith Ram with a six and a four down the ground. They added 153 runs for the second wicket off just 58 balls.

With just 26 needed off 37 balls, Mani was dismissed and the Dragons made it difficult for themselves by losing four wickets in five balls. However, S. Swaminathan ensured there was no further twist in the tale with an unbeaten 17.

The chase overshadowed V. Ganga Sridhar Raju’s brilliant unbeaten 90 (57b, 6×4, 7×6) that helped Kovai Kings post 201/1. He was supported by debutant J. Suresh Kumar (58) and B. Sai Sudarshan (40 n.o.).

Earlier in the first match of the day, A. Muhammed Adnan Khan (55, 38b, 4×4, 3×6) and Adithya Ganesh’s (41, 44b, 4×4, 1×6) 84-run partnership for the fourth wicket helped Ruby Trichy Warriors snatch a three-wicket win over Siechem Madurai Panthers.

Electing to field, Warriors’ bowlers did well to restrict the Panthers to 137/6 with some disciplined bowling, led by left-arm spinner M. Mathivannan (2/18).

The scores: Siechem Madurai Panthers 137/6 in 20 overs (J. Kousik 44, B. Anirudh Sitaram 36 n.o., M. Mathivanan 2/18, P. Saravanakumar 2/31) lost to Ruby Trichy Warriors 138/7 in 19 overs (A. Muhammed Adnan Khan 53, Adithya Ganesh 41, J. Kousik 2/17, L. Kiran Akash 2/19, R. Rohit 2/32). Points: RTW 2 (4); SMP 0 (2).

Lyca Kovai Kings 201/1 in 20 overs (V. Ganga Sridhar Raju 90 n.o., J. Suresh Kumar 58, B. Sai Sudharsan 40 n.o.) lost to Dindigul Dragons 202/5 in 18 overs (C. Hari Nishaanth 70, K. Mani Bharathy 81, V. Ganga Sridhar Raju 2/8). Points: DD 2 (2); LKK 0 (3).

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