It was an amazing game of cricket as Karnataka held their nerves to beat Tamil Nadu by just 1 run in the finals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019 played at Lalabhai Contractor Stadium, Surat on Sunday.
Tamil Nadu captain Dinesh Karthik won the toss and decided to to field first. KL Rahul and Devdutt Paddikal got Karnataka off to a decent start with aggressive stroke play putting pressure on Tamil Nadu bowlers. Ravichandran Ashwin got the breakthrough for TN dismissing KL Rahul for 22 off 15 balls. KL Rahul and Paddikal added 39 runs for opening wicket. In the next ball, R Ashwin dismissed the dangerous Mayank Agarwal for 0. Karnataka captain Manish Pandey arrived at the crease and took the attack to TN bowlers. At the end of six overs, Karnataka 57 for 2. Paddikal made batting look with aggressive stroke play.
Washington Sundar broke the partnership between Pandey and Paddikal of 48 runs for the 3rd wicket. Paddikal was dismissed for 32 off 23 balls. Rohan Kadam looked in positive touch along with Manish Pandey who led from the front. Pandey reached his fifty off 38 balls. Murgun Ashwin broke the 4th wicket partnership dismissing Rohan Kadam for 35 off 28 balls. Kadam and Pandey added 65 runs. Karun Nair also chipped in with a quick fire 17 off 8 balls. Manish Pandey led from the front remaining not out on 60 off 45 balls. Karnataka posted 180 for 5 in 20 overs. For Tamil Nadu, Ravichandran Ashwin and Murgun Ashwin took 2 wickets each while Washington Sundar picked 1 wicket.
Chasing 181 runs to win, Hari Nishanth and Shahrukh Khan provided a decent start adding 26 runs for the opening wicket in just 3 overs. Ronit More got the breakthrough dismissing Hari Nishanth for 14. Shreyas Gopal was introduced into the attack and dismissed Shahrukh Khan to reduce Tamil Nadu at 37 for 2. At the end of six overs, Tamil Nadu were 53 for 2.
Washington Sundar and Dinesh Karthik struggled to score runs with ease. As things were looking dangerous for Karnataka, Suchith dismissed Dinesh Karthik for 20. Karthik and Washington Sundar added 39 runs for the 3rd wicket. In the next over, K Gowtham got the wicket of Sundar to rattle the Tamil Nadu batting line up.
Baba Aparajith and Vijay Shankar played with positive intent giving Tamil Nadu of winning the match. Aparajith known to be a solid batsman showed his array of strokes which made Karnataka captain Manish Pandey think. With 30 runs required off 18 balls, Ronit More provided the breakthrough dismissing Aparajith for 40 off 25 balls. Aparajith and Shankar added 71 runs for the 5th wicket.
In the 19th over, Ravichandran Ashwin and Vijay Shankar hit 2 boundaries off Koushik bowling. With 13 runs required off last over, the experienced Ashwin smashed two 2 successive fours off K Gowtham bowling. A brilliant throw by Manish Pandey ended Vijay Shankar innings for 44. With 3 runs required off 1 ball, Gowtham gave away 1 run to help Karnataka defend the title by just 1 run.
Karnataka 180 for 5 in 20 overs ( Manish Pandey 60*, Rohan Kadam 35, Ravichandran Ashwin 2/34) beat Tamil Nadu 179 for 6 in 20 overs ( Vijay Shankar 44, Baba Aparajith 40, Ronit More 2/32, K Gowtham 1/31) by 1 run.