About the Match
The Dragons finished in the 2nd place with 10 points and will take on Patriots, who accumulated 8 points and came at No.3, in the 1st Semi-Final match of the inaugural Tamil Nadu Premier League at Tirunelveli on 16th September. Although the Dragons lost their last league game against Kovai Kings, their earlier winning performances took them to the top of the table and they will be eager to feature in the title clash. Patriots on the other hand, registered 3 straight wins in the last few matches and also managed to tie the contest against Dragons when they met during the league; this will give them sufficient motivation to try and trounce the opposition in the upcoming match.
The Dragons batting line-up put up a lacklustre performance against Kovai Kings trying to chase down a modest target of 148 runs but apart from Jagadeesan, who posted a well-made 58, the others crumbled under pressure and they lost the contest by 16 runs. Against Patriots, the batsmen struggled to chase 120 runs with Murugan Ashwin posting a heroic 61 off 51 to tie the match; however, the others failed to impress with the bat.
The bowlers have been consistent in taking wickets and stifling the run-flow of oppositions; the unit has fast-bowlers like Adithya Arun, who took 2-28 against Kovai Kings, and spinner Silambarasan who also contributed with 2-17 in 3 overs in the same match. Spinners Sanjay, who registered a superb 3-18 against Patriots, Murugan Ashwin who also has been regularly providing breakthroughs and medium-pacer Sunny Kumar Singh are in good form and can try to pose a stiff challenge here.
While the tied match against Patriots was finally won by them in the one-over eliminator, the Dragons will be cautious here against the Patriots bowlers, and try to bring all their firepower.
Gandhi is in excellent form and has repeatedly built the foundation whether in setting targets or chasing one; his stunning 86 off 55 powered the team to a competitive 167 against Super Giants, which was then successfully defended by the bowlers. In the match against Kanchi Warriors, Gandhi’s unbeaten 80 off 49 helped them chase down 146 runs with ease. Other batsmen like Sushil, Nathan, Sundar and Raaghav have been supporting well and can help keep the scoreboard ticking.
In the bowling department, they have in-form spinners like Aushik Srinivas and Ganesh Moorthi, who took 2 wickets each against Super Giants to demolish their top and middle order; Sundar has also been supporting well with his spin tactics and they can combine well to stifle the opponents.
Paceman Aswin Christ is in good form as seen from his 3-19 against Warriors and 2 vital wickets in the match against Super Giants; veteran L Balaji brings his versatile experience and superb pace skills to the table while Davidson also has been doing well to contain the opponents. Overall, they are a tough unit to crack and surely seem to be the team to look out for this season.
While Dragons got off to a great start, their recent performances have not been their best and they will try to do better here; however, we feel that the Patriots who are peaking at the right time have the necessary firepower with bat and ball to emerge victorious on Friday