The Dindigul trio's sterling display helped last year's finalists upstage the defending champions by 30 runs for their second successive victory this season. The winners now head the eight-team league standings with four points.
After SMP captain KB Arun Karthick won the toss and put Dindigul into bat, Coimbatore lads Nishanth and Jagadeesan added 104 runs off 80 balls for the opening wicket. While Nishanth smashed three sixes and six fours in his 47-ball 57, Jagadeesan carried the bat to remain unbeaten on 87 (57 balls, 12 fours and 1 six) as DD posted 182-6 in 20 overs
The 24-year-old Jagadeesan created his own milestone in the 100thTNPL match by becoming the first batsman to score 1,000 runs in the league. His tally after the innings reads 1,008 runs from 25 matches, that includes 11 fifties.
Left-arm spinner M Silambarasan, who had claimed 4-13 in the first match against Chepauk Super Gillies, did an encore. The 21-year-old from Vellore broke the back of the SMP chase by dismissing openers Arun Karthick (24 off 17 balls) and A Sarathraj (26 off 21 balls) in his second over. It was a significant moment of the contest as both Karthick and Sarathraj had put SMP on course for the chase by raising 50 runs in the Powerplay. Silambarasan went on to claim two more wickets to finish with figures of 4/20.
Silambarasan credited his skipper for his rich haul. "I come well-prepared for my matches. Ashwin guides me and tells how to bowl to a particular batsman. He asks me to be bold no matter what I do," he said.
The captain feels the young spinner has it in him to make it big. "He (Silambarasan) doesn't shy away from a challenge. He is very happy to bowl at any part of the game. He is pretty much accurate with what he delivers, ninety per cent of the time he is able to get what is being said to him right. For someone who is so young, he has got pretty much most of the assets. I think he will get better over time," Ashwin said.
Abhishek Tanwar (24 off 13 balls, three sixes) and Ramachandran Mithun (20 off 10 balls) tried in vain but by that time DD had a vice-like grip on the proceedings. DD captain Ashwin Ravichandran (3-16) claimed his first wickets of the season, including two of the last over. He dismissed Rahil Shah with his new action where his non-bowling arm remains static and he completes bowling the delivery on the wrong foot. The reigning champions eventually finished on 152/9.
Both teams stay put in Tirunelveli for their next matches. Dindigul Dragons meet Tuti Patriots on Saturday (July 27) while Siechem Madurai Panthers take on VB Kanchi Veerans on Sunday.