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Syed Mushtaq Ali: Karnataka Clinch More Silverware After Thrilling Final against Tamil Nadu

However with four needed off two, Shankar tried to sneak in a quick two before the final delivery but fell short and Karnataka eventually wrapped it up on the final delivery when Murugan Ashwin failed to connect and Rahul had no worries about conceding a single.

Cricketnext Staff |December 2, 2019, 2:14 AM IST
Syed Mushtaq Ali: Karnataka Clinch More Silverware After Thrilling Final against Tamil Nadu

Traditionally a powerhouse, Karnataka were absolutely dominant with both bat and ball in the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in Surat on December 1 as they clinched a narrow 1 run win against neighbours Tamil Nadu, in the process defending their crown from the previous season.

For the champions, the spinners came to the fore as they picked important wickets to apply the brakes on Tamil Nadu, who had started well and even looked like they’d run away with it towards the end when Baba Aparajith and Vijay Shankar got their act going. But before that, it was Manish Pandey who played a captain’s hand with an unbeaten 60 to set it up for his side.

Put in to bat, Karnataka got a good start with KL Rahul and Devdutt Padikkal beginning well. Rahul looked to take the attack to R Ashwin, hitting him for two boundaries in his first two overs.

Rahul started Ashwin's third over with a six but the offspinner had the last laugh, the batsman holing out to long on. Ashwin followed it up by having Mayank Agarwal for a first-ball duck, a leading edge popping back to the bowler.

Karnataka were 39 for 2 in the fifth over, with Pandey joining Padikkal. The latter began a counter attack, ensuring Karnataka wouldn't lag behind after the double wicket. Karnataka got 57 in the Power Play.

With Pandey settling in as well, the partnership threatened to take the game away. But Tamil Nadu fought back with Washington Sundar knocking over Padikkal's stump with a beautiful ball in the 10th over.

The see-saw contest continued with Pandey and Rohan Kadam steadying the ship once again before exploding in the latter stages. The 15th and 16th overs, bowled by M Siddharth and Vijay Shankar, cost 31 runs combined to set up the base for a strong finish. Pandey was steady and got past his half-century, while Kadam made a handy 28-ball 35.

Tamil Nadu pulled things back well in the last four overs, conceding only 34 runs. That was largely thanks to T Natarajan, who went wicketless but gave only 14 runs from two overs in that period to finish on 0-30. Pandey was unbeaten on 60 off 45 while Karun Nair made a handy contribution of 17* (8).

In response, Tamil Nadu knew the chase was on and Shahrukh Khan (16) along with Hari Nishanth (14) quickly got their eye in and found the boundaries with relative ease to give the side a brisk start.

Shahrukh however could not continue his efforts as Shreyas Gopal struck with his first ball to send him back with the score at 37/2.

New men Washington Sundar (24) and Dinesh Karthik (20) were watchful to begin with, and put on a crucial 39-run partnership at good pace to keep themselves in the hunt, even though the required run-rate had crossed the 10-run mark by then.

Krishnappa Gowtham went through Sundar's defenses, and then J Suchith removed the opposition skipper as KL Rahul completed the stumping with ease. Tamil Nadu at 4/80 were in a spot of bother.

With their backs to the wall, Baba Aparajith (40) and Vijay Shankar (44) dug deep and led a counter-attack which threatened to run away with the game.

Aparajith decided to attack the bowlers early in the over and clobbered three maximums during his 25-ball knock. At the other end, Shankar had been finding the gaps well too and added five boundaries of his own. The duo put on 71 runs in less than 8 overs, before Ronit More struck a telling blow when he had Aparajith caught by Pandey in the deep.

Shankar continued to hold up his end with R Ashwin, who also used the long handle to good effect, especially in the final over when he sent Gowtham for two boundaries to give the chasing pack some fresh air.

However with four needed off two, Shankar tried to sneak in a quick two before the final delivery but fell short and Karnataka eventually wrapped it up on the final delivery when Murugan Ashwin failed to connect and Rahul had no worries about conceding a single.

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