CHENNAI: Ruby Trichy Warriors pacer Ajay Krishna enjoyed a dream Tamil Nadu Premier League debut, guiding his team to a comfortable eight-wicket win over Dindigul Dragons in a Season 6 fixture at the ICL Sankar Nagar Ground in Tirunelveli on Friday.
The 25-year-old Ajay, who worked with Indian Premier League franchise Chennai Super Kings as a net bowler in the last two seasons, delivered match-winning figures that read 4-1-9-2. Ajay was the standout in a disciplined Trichy bowling performance, which helped restrict Dindigul to a modest 144 for eight.
Despite losing two early wickets – openers Murali Vijay (8) and Amit Sathvik (20 off 15 balls, 2 fours, 1 six) – Warriors cruised to its target with an over to spare. No.3 Nidhish Rajagopal (64 not out off 48 balls, 6 fours, 1 six) and wicketkeeper-batter Adithya Ganesh (37 not out off 38 balls, 2 fours) played responsibly during their unbroken third-wicket alliance that was worth 114 runs. In his comeback match, Vijay had looked a bit rusty in the middle.
In the first essay, all of Trichy’s frontline bowlers on the day, save Saravana Kumar (1/50 off 3 overs), kept things tight as Dindigul could manage only 144 on board. If not for L Vignesh’s (32 not out off 20 balls, 5 fours) late cameo and C Hari Nishaanth’s (25 off 15 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes) early aggression, DD would have struggled to get to a respectable total. After bowling a first-over maiden, Ajay dismissed his CSK colleague Hari, who found Adnan Khan at backward point in the fourth over. The youngster then castled R Vivek’s (6) stumps in the 12th over as Dragons lost wickets at regular intervals.
“I just wanted to stick to the basics. I wanted to do my part for the team. I was not bothered about the results,” said Ajay during the interval. Talking about his Super Kings stint, Ajay added: “I was an excellent period of time. I learnt a lot from the legend himself (MS Dhoni).”
Trichy skipper and left-arm spinner Rahil Shah (2/24) began his campaign on a high, earning the scalps of Mani Bharathy (18) and K Monish (24 off 19 balls, 1 four, 2 sixes).
BRIEF SCORES: Dindigul Dragons 144/8 in 20 overs (L Vignesh 32*, Ajay Krishna 2/9, Rahil Shah 2/24) lost to Ruby Trichy Warriors 147/2 in 19 overs (Nidhish Rajagopal 64*, Adithya Ganesh 37*)