Tamil Nadu marches through to final of SMAT 2020-21


Tamil Nadu faced Rajasthan in 1st semi final of this year’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament at the Motera cricket stadium and comprehensively defeated the latter in a match full of missed opportunities.

After winning the toss, Rajasthan decided to bat first against Tamil Nadu which was a side that loved chasing. Despite losing opener Bharat Sharms for a 0 in the first over , captain A. Meneria and A. Garhwal snitched a valuable partnership and kept the scoreboard ticking at a good rate . Both these players took full advantage of the batting powerplay. But on a pitch that was offering a lot to the spinners, Tamil Nadu bowler Aparajith provided the next breakthrough by dismissing A.Garhwal for 29(21). Captain Meneria kept on going from the other end and got assistance from No.4 batsman A.Gupta who kept the pressure on the the opposition.

With some chances provided by the Tamil Nadu fielders, Rajasthan were reeling at 120/2 after 13 overs with Meneria batting on 50 odd. Then a turnaround happened as S.Kishore provided the much needed breakthrough by dismissing Manaria for a well made 51(35) which was a turning point as Rajasthan never recovered from this. Soon after the scoring rate went down as M.lomror got out quickly.

A.Gupta had held one end up but he was dismissed for 45(34) in the 18th over. Rajasthan’s innings faced a major collapse as they only managed to score 34 and lost 7 wickets in the last 7 overs despite getting a blistering start and set a target of 155 runs to Tamil Nadu. Muhammed was the pick of the bowlers for Tamil Nadu as he finished on figures of 4-24.

Tamil Nadu’s reply –

While chasing, Rajasthan bowlers gave some early hiccups to Tamil Nadu as they lost 2 quick wickets in the form of H.Nisanth 4(8) to Tanveer and B.Aparajith 2(5) to A.Chowdhary who pushed one out after swinging a few deliveries into the right hander. N.Jagadeesan and A.Karthik steadied the ship but scoring at run a ball and took the team’s total to 35/2 after the powerplay .

R.Bishnoi broke the partnership by dismissing N.Jagadeesan who scored run a ball 28 while A.Karthik took charge of the Tamil Nadu innings on a spin friendly wicket along with captain D.Karthik who showed his experience and class and kept the scoreboard moving by rotating the strike and picking the odd boundaries. A.Karthik played some excellent strokes against the spinners as he drove them over extra cover .

With the partnership building between both the Karthiks, Rajasthan got under the pump and dropped three catches all of K.Ahmed’s bowling and also a run out to add to that. Tamil Nadu reached home with 8 balls to spare as a 89run partnership between D.Karthik 26(17) and A.Karthik 89(54) blew away Rajasthan.

Rajasthan vs Tamil Nadu

After the heartbreak last year, Tamil Nadu are in the final once more and they would be keen to go all the way this time. To be fair, they look a very confident side with new heroes turning up in each game. Rajasthan had their chances but were not able to hold onto it which cost them a place in the final.

Tamil Nadu lost few early wickets with not much on the board but veterans like A.Karthik and D.Karthik took their team over the line. That’s where experience becomes important. A.Karthik was the Man Of The Match for his brilliant 89. Rajasthan will be gutted as they missed out on an extra 25-30 runs with the bat which would have been really important.

Tamil Nadu will take on the winners of the 2nd semi final played between Punjab and Baroda, in the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament 2020-21 which will be played at the Motera Cricket Stadium on the 31st of January .


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