Karnataka beats Tamil Nadu in the final of Syed Mushtaq Ali

SURAT: In a competition that went straight, Karnataka beat Tamil Nadu by 1 run to win the final of Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 at the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium on Sunday night. After pattern Panish manish (60 n.o., 4x4, 2x6) had played a great hand in bringing the team to a total of 180, their bowlers remained nervous in the final to ensure their second great competition of the season. Karnataka had defeated Tamil Nadu in the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy in October.

Pursuing a rigid objective of 181, TN needed a good start. But its openers: C Hari Nishanth (14, 3x4) and Shahrukh Khan (16, 3x4) achieved 26 in the first three overs. Washington Sundar (24, 2x4) and Dinesh Karthik (20, 3x4) were back in the booth when TN reached 80 for 4 after 10 overs. The couple of Vijay Shankar (44, 5x4) and B Aparajith (40, 1x4, 3x6) kept their side in the chase with a 71-run position that came in 7 overs. TN lost Aparajith in the first ball of 18 with the total reading of the 151-5 team.

By needing 30 races from the last 17 deliveries, Vijay Shankar and the experienced R Ashwin kept TN in the chase with some sensible punches. In the final, TN needed 13 and Ashwin obtained two crucial limits and the equation soon read 4 of the last two. However, the lack of Vijay Shankar meant that TN had to score 3 in the final delivery. M Ashwin failed to launch the big fish, and TN fell short once again.

Previously, Karnataka's batting revolved around her employer. The spotlight may have been in their openers Devdutt Padikkal (32, 3x4, 2x6) and KL Rahul (2x4, 1x6), but it was Pandey who kept the tickets together. Pandey came in fifth place when R Ashwin (2-34) lifted his tail after having fired Rahul and Mayank Agarwal (0) from successive deliveries. Pandey survived the hat-trick ball by driving it long for a single. He may have started on a prudent note, scoring only 6 of the first 10 deliveries he faced. Pandey's first big shot was a six-stroke hit directly on the screen in the ninth overcast by the leg M Ashwin (2-33). He followed that six with a four in the long-standing region.

What was impressive to see was that Pandey was not going to hit without meaning. He was quick among the wickets and accumulated 32 runs in one and two in his 45-ball innings. Every time the opportunity came to go big, Pandey took full advantage of it. Pandey added 48 for the third wicket with the Padikkal in shape. Once Padikkal left, Pandey partnered with Rohan Kadam to take Karnataka beyond the 150-run mark on day 18. Karun Nair's 8-ball 17 drove Karnataka to 180, which turned out to be enough against his opponents

Abhimanyu Mithun misses the final: Abhimanyu Mithun, who had taken 5 wickets in the semifinal against Haryana, missed Sunday's final due to back spasm. “Mithun has injured himself and Suchith comes in for him,” skipper Panish manish said at the toss.

Brief scores: Karnataka 180/5 in 20 overs ( Panish manish 60 n.o., Rohan Kadam 35; R Ashwin 2-34, M Ashwin 2-33). Tamil Nadu 179/6 in 20 overs (Vijay Shankar 44, B Aparajith 40; More 2-32). Karnataka won by 1 run.