Karnataka and Tamil Nadu finished first and second in the south zone leg of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 cricket tournament which concluded at Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram on Sunday. Both teams ended with 16 points but Karnataka, the reigning champion, successfully defended its title with a superior net run rate of 1.354 against TN’s 0.435.
Tamil Nadu set up an imposing 193 for seven and then throttled Hyderabad’s chase at 177 for eight. Hoping to capitalise on early morning conditions, the latter chose to field. While Ravi Kiran got the breakthrough, Washington Sundar caught by third man Md. Siraj, the guiles of Mehdi Hasan actually landed the spoils.
The orthodox left arm spinner had the next three TN batsmen playing into his hands. Bharath Shankar lobbed a catch back to the tweaker, while Baba Aparajith spooned one to short mid-wicket Akshath Reddy.
Sure that Dinesh Karthik would be keen to succeed this time since he had failed to fire against Karnataka, Hasan lured the TN swashbuckler out of his crease and had him stumped.
The fifth wicket left-right pair of Sanjay Yadav and Vijay Shankar not only got frequent field placement changes but vied with each other to clear the ropes, the former slamming three maximums to the latter’s four besides two boundaries each.After these two took apart the Hyderabad attack in a 76-run stand, the rest of the TN batsmen consolidated the total further.
After Hyderabad looked shaky at 37 for two, Ambati Rayudu came as the antidote. In imperious form, the Hyderabad skipper for a while stole the thunder from Tanmay Agarwal. The opener was in attack mode too, notching up a half century off 30 balls aided by five boundaries and two big hits.
Aiming to scythe Sundar, the southpaw was rapped in front for 59 (5 x 4, 2 x 6). His half-century completed, Rayudu (53, 34b, 1 x 4, 4 x 6) slashed away from his body at slinger A. Davidson’s ball way outside off and popped a skier to extra cover Murugan Ashwin.
Ricky Bhui’s rapid fire 65 (34b, 4 x 4, 5 x 6), G Hanuma Vihari’s 57 (4 x 4, 2 x 6) and Ashwin Hebbar’s 52 (3 x 4, 4 x 6) steered Andhra to an imposing 201 for four against Goa. The western side made a fight of it coming as close as 183 for six, thanks to the valiant efforts of Swapnil Asnodkar (72, 50b, 7 x 4, 3 x 6), captain Sagun Kamat’s 43 and Amogh Desai’s 30.
At Visakhapatnam: Tamil Nadu 193 for seven in 20 overs (Dinesh Karthik 27; Sanjay Yadav 42, Vijay Shankar 40, Mehdi Hasan three for 40) bt Hyderabad 177 for eight in 20 overs (Tanmay Agarwal 59, Ambati Rayudu 53, T. Ravi Teja 29, Washington Sundar three for 29); Andhra 201 for four in 20 overs (Ashwin Hebbar 52, G.H. Vihari 57, Ricky Bhui 65) bt Goa 183 for six in 20 overs (Amogh Desai 30, Swapnil Asnodkar 72, Sagun Kamat 43)
At Vizianagaram: Karnataka 181 for six in 20 overs (Mayank Agarwal 86, R. Samarth 27) bt Kerala 161 in 19.2 overs (Sanju Samson 71, Vishnu Vinod 46; Pravin Dubey three for 35)