Tamil Nadu defended their Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy title on Monday as a sensational last-ball six from Shahrukh Khan helped them defeat Karnataka by four wickets in the final.
Needing five runs to win off the last ball, Khan, just as he did in the previous season, hit the winning runs for Tamil Nadu as they became champions of India’s premier domestic T20 competition once again.
Skipper Vijay Shankar won the toss as Tamil Nadu opted to field first at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. Karnataka posted a total of 151/7 thanks to middle order runs from Abhinav Manohar (46 off 37) and Praveen Dubey (33 off 25).
Left-arm spinner Sai Kishore was the pick of the bowlers for Tamil Nadu as he took the new ball and returned with superb figures of 3/12 from his four overs.
In reply, N Jagadeesan got a 46-ball 41 at the top of the order before Khan’s unbeaten 33 off 15 sealed the deal for Tamil Nadu.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, TN captain Vijay Shankar praised Khan for his brilliant innings.
“Overall, we played amazing cricket. Everyone fought really hard. This innings was due from Shahrukh. He stepped up and did very well,” he said.
“Karnataka bowled really well in the middle overs. Really happy to be on the winning side. It was a fantastic effort from all the bowlers (throughout),” he added.
On his part, Khan said, “There were a lot of things running in my mind. The ball was soft and the wicket was rough. I got the room and cleared my leg. We believe in each other. Special thanks to M Mohammed, who has been an unsung hero for Tamil Nadu for the last three years. This is the first six I have hit off the last ball.”
Karnataka skipper Manish Pandey said it was a bittersweet feeling to lose in the final.
“The boys did really well for us throughout the tournament. Tamil Nadu played really well. The top-order could have got a few more runs,” he said.
Karnataka 151/7 in 20 overs (Abhinav Manohar 46, Praveen Dubey 33; R Sai Kishore 3/12) lost to Tamil Nadu 153/6 in 20 overs (N Jagadeesan 41, Shahrukh Khan 33 not out; KC Cariappa 2/22) by 4 wickets.
(With inputs from PTI)