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TNPL 2024 | Easwaran’s hat-trick goes in vain as Cholas lose to Dragons

It was a grand day for Easwaran but not for Cholas.

Shivam Singh’s 51-ball 78 (6×4, 5×6) helped Dindigul Dragons defeat Trichy Grand Cholas by 16 runs in the eighth season of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) at the Salem Cricket Foundation ground here on Saturday.

Shivam was an absolute joy to watch. He was quite confident, especially when taking on the pacers. Whenever he hit a six off them, it was as if he wanted to clear the ground. He charged at Athisayaraj Davidson and deposited him over the long-off boundary, imperiously pulled K. Easwaran over the deep square-leg boundary, and opened the face of the bat for a bunt over the deep-cover boundary and then heaved one to the long-on boundary for back-to-back maximums off Saravana Kumar.

But Easwaran, who had claimed two early wickets, helped Cholas restrict Dragons to 160 for eight. The ball held on at times, and it cost Shivam as he holed out to long-on in the 17th over.

S. Dinesh Raj and C. Sarath Kumar mistimed to be caught at long-on and cover off the last two balls of the same over. Easwaran finished with the best bowling figures in the TNPL history (six for 32) as he returned to complete a hat-trick on the first delivery of his final over when G. Kishoor top-edged a back-of-the-hand slower ball to long-on.

In the second match of the day, Siechem Madurai Panthers was in bad plight.

SKM Salem Spartans’ R. Kavin (70, 45b, 5×4, 5×6) was in an imperious mood. Standing tall, he lifted a full delivery outside off over the cover boundary for a six off medium-pacer S. Shankar Ganesh. In all its glory, it was the shot of the match.

Left-hander Vishal Vaidhya also chipped in with an unbeaten 56 (33b, 6×4, 1×6) for Spartans which went on to post 180 for seven in its 20 overs.

For Madurai Panthers, S. Lokeshwar came up with a ruthless 38-ball 69 (8×4, 3×6). He was involved in a 79-run second-wicket partnership with J. Kousik (57, 46b, 4×4, 2×6).

When the chase came down to 14 off six balls from 33 off three overs, M. Ashwin (20, 5b, 3×6) smashed three successive sixes off medium-pacer Sunny Sandhu to get Panthers past the finish line.

The scores: Dindigul Dragons 160/8 in 20 overs (Shivam Singh 78, B. Indrajith 33, K. Easwaran 6/32, incl. a hat-trick) bt Trichy Grand Cholas 144/8 in 20 overs (R. Rajkumar 31, R. Ashwin 3/18).

SKM Salem Spartans 180/7 in 20 overs (R. Kavin 70, Vishal Vaidhya 56 n.o., M. Ashwin 3/20) lost to Siechem Madurai Panthers 185/6 in 19.3 overs (S. Lokeshwar 69, J. Kousik 57).

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