Shahrukh Khan’s last-ball six seals the SMAT for Tamil Nadu

Shahrukh Khan smashed an unbeaten 33 off just 15 balls to lead his team to another Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. R. Sai Kishore emerges as the pick of the bowlers with three wickets.

  • Karnataka- 151/7 (Abhinav Manohar 46; R Sai Kishore 3-12) lost to Tamil Nadu-153/6 (N Jagadeesan 41, Shahrukh Khan 33*) by 4 wickets

 

In an absolute humdinger, Tamil Nadu’s finisher Shahrukh Khan hit a six with five needed off the final ball to give his team their second successive Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and an unprecedented third overall. Prateek Jain bowled full to target Shahrukh’s pad but the hitter was able to get under it and swing it over deep square leg to sink Karnataka to their first-ever loss in a white ball final.

 

With the game see-sawing all through, it came down to 16 off the final over bowled by Prateek. R Sai Kishore, who had earlier starred with the ball, got a thick outside edge over short third man to get a boundary first ball, and then managed to bring Shahrukh on strike off the next ball. Prateek persisted with a tight leg stump line to stay away from Shahrukh’s hitting zone, and even conceded a couple of wides down the legside in the process. The same plan though was outdone by Shahrukh in the final ball giving Tamil Nadu a memorable win, after having meandered through for large parts of the chase.

 

Shahrukh, who finished with an unbeaten 33 off 15, came in at a critical juncture in the chase after KC Cariappa got the two set batters – Vijay Shankar (18 off 22) and N Jagadeesan (41 off 46) – off successive balls in the 16th over. While the duo put on a steady 44-run stand for the third wicket, their partnership had also been devoid off momentum as Karnataka’s spinners kept a tight check through the middle overs. But Shahrukh wasted no time to get going, hitting Darshan for a six and a four in the 17th over to give TN a much-needed impetus that carried on until to the final ball.

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