In a nail-biting and controversial finish, Tamil Nadu prevailed over Odisha by one run in the second round match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament (Elite Group A) at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Friday.
Chasing 168 for victory, Odisha started slowly and managed only 67 in the first ten overs. However, Subhransu Senapati’s 67 (47b, 3×4, 3×6) and Abhishek Raut’s unbeaten 38 (21b, 4×4, 1×6) helped Odisha fight back strongly towards the end.
With 14 needed off the final over, left-arm pacer T. Natarajan did well off the first four ball balls giving just three runs and a wicket. However, on the penultimate delivery, Raut hit it to the long-off boundary where M. Ashwin made a valiant effort but the ball touched the ropes.
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The umpires and the fielder didn’t know whether the stop was clean and gave Odisha just two runs. Natarajan defended nine off the last ball bowled an above-waist full toss and gave away two runs. Raut then hit the last ball for four as Odisha fell short by one run.
While the audience watching on a streaming website could see the ball touching the ropes, the third umpires don’t have access to the webcast feed.
Odisha skipper Rajesh Dhuper was distraught knowing what had actually transpired but said, “The playing conditions dictate that the cameras used by the BCCI are for reviewing only stumpings, run-outs and to check no-ball if a wicket falls. By the time we realised, the next ball was already bowled.”
Earlier asked to bat first, TN made 165/5 thanks to top-scorer B. Aparajith’s unbeaten 44 (28b, 3×4, 2×6) and M. Mohammed’s late flourish of an unbeaten 27 off just 13 balls. Skipper Vijay Shankar did not play due to a calf niggle and N. Jadadeesan led the TN on Friday.
In the first match of the day, Maharashtra skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad led from the front with a brilliant 80 (54b, 8×4, 3×6) to guide his side to a seven-wicket win over Punjab.
Electing to field first, Maharashtra restricted Punjab to just 137/6 with a disciplined bowling effort in helpful conditions. Chasing a modest total, Gaikwad slammed his second consecutive half-century to help Maharashtra get its first win of the campaign.
Elite A (Lucknow): Punjab 137/6 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 44, Gurkeerat Mann 41) lost to Maharashtra 138/3 in 17.3 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 80).
Goa 161/3 in 20 overs (Aditya Kaushik 69 n.o.) bt Pondicherry 152/7 in 20 overs (Paras Dogra 84 n.o., Amit Yadav 3/16, Shrikant Wagh 3/38).
Tamil Nadu 165/5 in 20 overs (N. Jagadeesan 37, B. Aparajith 44 n.o.) bt Odisha 164/6 in 20 overs (Subhranshu Senapati 67, Abhishek Raut 38 n.o.).