As anticipated, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka will cross swords in search of their third title in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground on Monday.
On Saturday, Karnataka kept calm to strike at regular intervals and subdue a fighting Vidarbha by four runs for its third final in four editions after defending champion TN raced past Hyderabad with eight wickets to spare.
For the third time in the knockout phase, Karnataka faced a close call. After beating Saurashtra by two wickets and Bengal in the Super Over, Karnataka just about managed to survive Vidarbha’s splendid resurgence.
With Vidarbha needing 14 runs off the last over from Vidyadhar Patil, Karnataka ensured victory with a ball to spare after a wicket and five runs came off the first five deliveries. Patil, who dropped two simple catches, could afford a smile and a final-ball boundary to Darshan Nalkande.
READ: Darshan Nalkande picks four wickets in four balls for Vidarbha in semifinal
Earlier, Karnataka posted 176/7 despite offering four wickets off successive deliveries to Nalkande in the 20th over. Looking for big hits, Annirudha Joshi, B. R. Sharath, J. Suchith and Abhinav Manohar became Nalkande’s victims.
The total was built on a 132-run foundation laid by Rohan Kadam (87, 56b, 7×4, 4×6) and skipper Manish Pandey (54, 42b, 2×4, 3×6). Kadam, dropped by skipper-wicketkeeper Akshay Wadkar on four in the first over, hurt Vidarbha in a big way.
Pandey played the way he does. The idea to promote Abhinav Manohar up the order also worked as he kept up the run-rate with a 13-ball 27 (2×4, 2×6). However, Karnataka failed to finish with a flourish.
The Tamil Nadu-Hyderabad match never rose as a contest. From winning the toss to finishing the job with a six, skipper Vijay Shankar got everything right.
Asked to bat even before sun made an appearance, Hyderabad paid the price for lacking the application needed to survive in testing conditions and folded for 90. Medium pacer Saravana Kumar’s disciplined bowling fetched him four wickets in the Powerplay before Murugan Ashwin reduced Hyderabad to 39/5 in 6.2 overs.
Only No. 8 Tanay Thyagarajan (25, 1×4, 1×6) reached double figures before Saravana, who once had figures of 2-2-0-3 in the Powerplay, returned in the 19th over to finish with five for 21.
TN’s catching stood out in accepting all 10 offerings, mostly inside the 30-yard circle, as Hyderabad’s search for big hits resulted in only four boundaries and three sixes.
In reply, after the openers exited early, Vijay Shankar (43 n. o., 40b, 4×4, 1×6) and Sai Sudharsan (34 n. o., 31b, 4×4) did not put a foot wrong. They raised 76 runs without taking undue risks to cross the finish-line.
Hyderabad 90 in 18.3 (Saravana Kumar 5/21) lost to Tamil Nadu 92/2 in 14.2 overs (Vijay Shankar 43 n.o., Sai Sudharsan 34 n.o.).
Karnataka 176/7 in 20 overs (Rohan Kadam 87, Manish Pandey 54, Darshan Nalkande 4/28) bt Vidarbha 172/6 in 20 overs (Atharva Taide 32, Ganesh Satish 31).