Spinners Aushik Srinivas R (2-25) and B Rocky (1-21), who bowled a wicket-maiden on his debut, and the young left-arm pacer V Gowtham (2-14) also made an impression.
Rajappa Rajkumar (42 off 28 balls, 2 fours, 3 sixes) was the only batsman who took on the Madurai bowlers, but his knock did not make any difference to the outcome of the match.
The victory, second in five matches, swelled Madurai’s points tally to five but more importantly raised their hopes of making it to the Playoffs.
The battle for the Playoffs is heating up as four teams — Chepauk Super Gillies, Lyca Kovai Kings, Madurai and Tiruppur — are all on five points. Tiruppur is the only team amongst the four with a negative net run rate (-1.109) while Madurai sit pretty at the third spot with a NRR of +1.17.
Earlier, Chaturved (41 not out off 23 balls, 1 four, 4 sixes) and all-rounder Jagateesan Kousik (40 off 20 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes) provided a strong finish to with a 78-run partnership off 42 balls for the fourth wicket to lift Madurai to 184-4 in 20 overs.
Chaturved and Kousik were aided by the platform set by the earlier three batsmen – openers P Praveen Kumar (35 off 37 balls, 2 fours, 1 six), P Sugendhiran (20 off 12 balls, 2 fours, 1 six) and B Anirudh Sita Ram (33 off 25 balls, 3 fours, 1 six).
Wicketkeeper batsman Praveen Kumar held the innings together in the initial stages by garnering 35 runs off 29 balls for the first wicket with Sugendhiran and then adding 54 off 44 balls for the second wicket before holing out in the deep.
Such was Chaturved and Kousik’s dominance in the slog overs that Madurai added 88 runs in the last six overs to surpass their earlier best of 153-8 that came in a losing cause against Lyca Kovai Kings last month.
The 31-year-old Chaturved signed off the innings in style with a big six over long-on off rival captain M Mohammed.
Madurai will take confidence from this showing as all their batsmen who stepped to the crease made an impact, including veteran KB Arun Karthick, who came in at No 6 in the final over and straightaway smacked a six and four off the first two balls he faced to remain unbeaten on 11 off 3 balls.
For Tiruppur, medium-pacer A Karuppusamy was the best bowler picking up two wickets off successive deliveries to finish with 2-14 from his two overs.
Brief scores: Madurai Panthers: 184-4 in 20 overs (NS Chaturved 41 not out, Kousik J 40, Praveen Kumar 35, Anirudh Sita Ram 33; A Karuppusamy 2-14, Aswin Crist 1-36, M Mohammed 1-48) beat Tiruppur Tamizhans: 103 in 17.4 overs (R Rajkumar 42, Maan Bafna 16; R Silambarasan 2-8, V Gowtham 2-14, Aushik S 2-25) by 81 runs.
Koo App Most Number of 6s: NS Chaturved (SMP)
Shriram Most Number of 4s: Anirudh Sita Ram (SMP), J Kousik (SMP)
Dream 11 Game Changer of the Match: V Gowtham (SMP)
Upstox Most Valuable Player of the Match: J Kousik (SMP)
BKT Tires- Commander of the Match: J Kousik (SMP)
Shriram Capital Player of the Match: NS Chaturved (SMP)
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