Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021: It was Tamil Nadu vs Karnataka in the finals of India’s national T20 tournament. Shahrukh Khan came as a savior for Tamil Nadu to defend their crown with a last-ball six.
In the battle of the south, both teams were evenly matched with nothing to separate them. The defending champions were clinical in their semifinals against Hyderabad. While the challenger faced Vidharbha in their semifinals. It was a tight matchup but when the dust settled it was Karnataka on top.
The toss was not a big factor as in UAE but still, Tamil Nadu decided they will chase the target down. The plan was working when the yellow army got three wickets inside the powerplay.
Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore’s introduction in the power play played a huge role. His figure of three wickets in four overs giving only 12 runs impressed everyone. Murugan Ashwin was another bowler bowling a lovely spell. Although he did not get any wickets, he was very economical with his four overs 28 runs.
Then, the next partnership of 45 runs would somewhat stabilize Karnataka’s innings. The three-down batter Abhinav Manohar played an excellent knock provide his team a much-needed resistance. However, the finishing touches were given by Praveen Dubey and Jagadeesha Suchith blasting 41 runs partnership to take Karnataka to 151 runs.
Sandeep Warrior, Sanjay Yadav, and T Natarajan all picked one wicket each. However, they all were a bit expensive. Watching the later part of the first innings, the pitch was drying and the ball was now coming onto the bat nicely. Still, it was good for bowling as well.
Chasing 152 runs, Hari Nishaanth gave Tamil Nadu an electric start. However, he was a victim of runout in the fourth over. His partner held the innings on the other end, limiting the damage. But in that process, they were now way behind on run rate. Karnataka executed their plans nicely and brought Tamil Nadu under pressure.
It seemed like we’ll see a new T20 champion but, Punjab Kings star, Shahrukh Khan was still in the dugout waiting eagerly to turn the match around.
Before all of that, Cariappa bowled beautifully picking up two wickets and an economy rate under 6. Vidhyadhar Patil also bowled well with his one wicket. Karun Nair, usually not known for his bowling, had a try and trapped Sai Sudharsan LBW.
The firework started in the 16th over when Cariappa was on a hat trick which brought Shahrukh Khan to the crease. In the next over, Khan showed his intention taking a total of 19 runs from it with Sanjay Yadav’s support from the other end.
A splendid over from Prateek Jain in the closing stage, when he gave only six runs in the 18th over. Two overs to go and 30 runs still to get. Shahrukh Khan gave hope taking 14 runs from the 19th over.
It was Prateek Jain, who was brought to replicate his last over, for the last to hold the match. He bowled relatively well if we discount two wides. Two bad deliveries ruined the match. One ball and five runs to go, Jain bowled on the pads and Shahrukh flicked it over the square-leg boundary to a maximum.
Tamil Nadu is becoming a firehouse with stellar performances in every format. They defend their trophy again. Shahrukh was awarded the Man of the Match for his powerful batting.