New Delhi: M Shahrukh Khan smashed a dramatic last-ball six to help Tamil Nadu defend the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 title with a thrilling four-wicket win over Karnataka in the summit clash here on Monday.
Needing 16 runs off the last over bowled by Prateek Jain, power-hitter Khan kept his cool under pressure to clobber the final delivery over deep-square leg to take Tamil Nadu to 153 for 6 and seal a famous win.
The burly 26-year-old right-hander remained not out on 33 (15 balls, 1 four, 3 sixes) while R Sai Kishore was 6 not out (3 balls, 1 four). Tamil Nadu thus avenged their heart-breaking one-run loss to Karnataka in the 2019 final.
Earlier, Karnataka rode on some aggressive batting by Abhinav Manohar (46, 37 balls, 4X4, 2X6), Praveen Dubey (33, 25 balls, 3X4, 1X6) and J Suchith (18, 7 balls, 1X4, 1X6) to post 151 for 7.
Thanks to their aggressive batting, Karnataka recovered on time after their batters were stifled by some good work by left-arm spinner Sai Kishore (3/12) and other Tamil Nadu bowlers.
TN captain Vijay Shankar praised Shahrukh Khan for his brilliant innings. “Overall, we played amazing cricket. Everyone fought really hard. This innings was due from Shahrukh. He stepped up and did very well,” he said.
“Karnataka bowled really well in the middle overs. Really happy to be on the winning side. It was a fantastic effort from all the bowlers (throughout),” he added.
On his part, Khan said, “There were a lot of things running in my mind. The ball was soft and the wicket was rough. I got the room and cleared my leg. We believe in each other. Special thanks to M Mohammed, who has been an unsung hero for Tamil Nadu for the last three years. This is the first six I have hit off the last ball.”
Karnataka skipper Manish Pandey said it was a bittersweet feeling to lose in the final. “The boys did really well for us throughout the tournament. Tamil Nadu played really well. The top-order could have got a few more runs,” he said.
Brief Scores: Karnataka 151/7 in 20 overs (Abhinav Manohar 46, Praveen Dubey 33; R Sai Kishore 3/12) lost to Tamil Nadu 153 for 6 in 20 overs (N Jagadeesan 41, Shahrukh Khan 33 not out; K C Cariappa 2/22).
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