Patriots tame Dragons, make final

Dindigul Dragons had its plans laid out for Albert Tuti Patriots but it backfired as the latter scored a convincing 38-run win over the former for a place in the final of the India Cements-TNPL at the ICL grounds here on Friday.

CLEAN HITTING: Abhinav Mukund made an aggressive 91 off just 55 deliveries to set up Albert Tuti Patriots’s seminfinal victory.

Abhinav Mukund, in particular, played the big innings and, it came at the right time for the team. The gritty opener set the stage on fire with a blistering 91 (55b, 10×4, 1×6) that fetched him the man of the match award.

Abhinav’s attacking play and stupendous shot selection was enough for the team to lay a strong foundation. With the crowd by his side, Abhinav slashed two boundaries off medium pacer T. Natarajan in the very first over. Kaushik Gandhi, the other opener, meanwhile played a quiet innings before gifting his wicket to off-spinner Yazh Arun Mozhi.

S.P. Nathan, who came in next, lived dangerously but did not last long. That did not matter for Abhinav. He continued to treat the bowlers sensitively in the company of his skipper Dinesh Karthik (48, 31b, 1×4, 4×6) to bring up his maiden fifty of the tournament. It came off 35 balls and contained five hits to the fence.

Chasing a target of a little over nine an over, the Dindigul openers N. Jagadeesan (59, 341b, 7×4, 1×6) and S. Raghunath began on a positive note scoring at seven an over. But off-spinner Washington Sundar picked three crucial wickets in his first over, the team’s sixth, to push the team on the back foot.

But Jagadeesan hammered the loose deliveries to bring his half century in style. And just when he looked set for a big score medium pacer Aswin Crist bowled a delivery that dipped a bit and Jagadeesan fell prey to it.

The scores: Tuti Patriots 187 for seven in 20 overs (Abhinav Mukund 91, Dinesh Karthik 48, Sunny Kumar Singh three for 34) bt Dindigul Dragons 149 for eight in 20 overs (N. Jagadeesan 59, Ashwin Venkataraman 40, Washington Sundar four for 23, Aswin Crist two for 25) .