Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy | No stopping Tamil Nadu

After losing the title last year by a solitary run to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu got the job done this year in commanding fashion as it defeated Baroda by seven wickets to clinch its second Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament, at the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

Tamil Nadu, which had remained unbeaten until the final, finished its campaign just as clinically, chasing down Baroda’s modest score of 120 with two overs and seven wickets to spare.

The victory on Sunday was set up by left-arm spinner M. Siddharth, playing his first match this tournament, as he wrecked Baroda’s top-order with a four-wicket haul (4/20).

Tamil Nadu’s chase was set up by opener C. Hari Nishaanth’s 35 before B. Aparajith (29 n.o.) and Dinesh Karthik (22) ensured Baroda never got back into the game.

M. Shahrukh Khan then blitzed an unbeaten 18 off just seven balls, which contained two fours and a six, to finish the chase in style.

Earlier, electing to bowl on a wicket that offered the spinners good help, Tamil Nadu struck early. In the second over, Aparajith removed opener Ninad Rathva, caught inside the circle on the off-side while going for a cut.

Dream bowling

At the other end, Siddharth soon had Kedar Devdhar, who had just hit two consecutive boundaries, by deceiving him in flight and having him caught at cover. Siddharth then accounted for Smit Patel, trapped leg-before with an arm ball.

In the ninth over, the left-arm spinner struck twice; Abhimanyu Rajput was caught and bowled while Karthik Kakade played on leaving Baroda tottering at 36 for six.

Solanki and Sheth then played cautiously to ensure Baroda did not get bowled out without playing 20 overs, adding 58 runs for the seventh wicket.

The duo did well to rotate strike against the spinners before going after pacers R. Sonu Yadav and Mohammed in the final four overs. But in the end, every such effort proved inadequate.

The scores: Baroda 120/9 in 20 overs (Vishnu Solanki 49, M. Siddharth 4/20) lost to Tamil Nadu 123/3 in 18 overs (C. Hari Nishaanth 35); Toss: Tamil Nadu; Man-of-the-final: M. Siddharth.

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