All-rounder K Gowtham held his nerve after being hit for back-to-back boundaries by Ravichandran Ashwin in the final over as Karnataka defended the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy by a run in Surat on Sunday.
Tamil Nadu skipper Dinesh Karthik sent Tamil Nadu into bat and on good batting conditions, Manish Pandey led the way for his side with a sparkling unbeaten 60. In-form opener Devdutt Padikkal and Rohan Kadam made useful contributions to take Karnataka to 180/5.
Tamil Nadu lost openers Shahrukh Khan and Hari Nishanth early and Karnataka strengthened their grip on the contest with the wickets of Washington Sundar and Karthik. However, the contest swung Tamil Nadu’s way after Baba Aparajith and Vijay Shankar built a whirlwind 71-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Ronit More’s superb over with Tamil Nadu needing just 30 from the last three overs saw the momentum shift yet again. Tamil Nadu needed 13 from the final over and Ashwin slammed Gowtham for back-to-back fours. However, Shankar’s run-out in the penultimate ball of the match saw M Ashwin being assigned the ominous task of taking his side home. He could only manage a single from the final ball of the match. Karnataka bagged their second trophy in two months in front of a packed stadium.