Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Tamil Nadu (TN) overwhelmed third-time finalists Baroda (BRD) by 7 wickets to claim their second Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) title at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Tamil Nadu had won their first Syed Mushtaq Ali title in 2006/07. Notably, both title wins came under Dinesh Karthik's captaincy but at a difference of 14 years.
Chasing a below-par total of 121, TN openers Nishanth and Jagadeeshan put on 26 runs for the opening wicket. But SMAT standout pacer Lukman Meriwala dismissed Jagadeeshan for 14. Baba Aparajith and Nishanth then combined to forge a 41-run stand for the second wicket.
Manimaran Siddarth has been awarded 'Player of the Match' for his exemplary spell of four over in which he concedes only 20 runs and took 4 crucial BRD wickets. I wanted to keep it simple. It paid off for me. I am really happy. My aim was to do well for my team. I have been working hard with my variations. The arm-ball has been my strength.
D.O.M.I.N.A.N.C.E! 💪👍— BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) January 31, 2021
The @DineshKarthik-led Tamil Nadu unit beat Baroda by 7⃣ wickets in the #Final and clinch the @Paytm #SyedMushtaqAliT20 title in style at the @GCAMotera. 👏👏 | @TNCACricket
Scorecard 👉 https://t.co/UAB2Z0siQm pic.twitter.com/MARKSY4rLK
Tamil Nadu looked like a well-oiled machine as they proved yet again why they are the most dominant side of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021. They needed just 18 overs to gun down the required target of 121 and it turned out to be one of the most one-sided finals in the history of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy.
However, Baroda clawed their way back as Babashafi Pathan dismissed Nishanth (35) in the 12th over, reducing Baroda to 67/2. Skipper Dinesh Karthik and Aparajith ensured that Tamil Nadu did not suffer from more hiccups. Tamil Nadu side with the perfect combination of youth and experience under D.K, hardly looked in any sort of trouble in the summit clash against Baroda on January 31.
Earlier, Vishnu Solanki (49) along with Atit Sheth (29) to stitch a 58-run stand for the 7th wicket to propelled their side to 120/9 in 20 overs after being put to bat first. M Siddharth, playing in his first match of the tournament, has been impressed most among Tamil Nadu bowlers to take four scalps and left Baroda reeling at 36/6 before Solanki and Sheth led a strong comeback for Baroda.