SMAT 2021-22: Tamil Nadu beats Punjab in final league game

Fifties from Vijay Shankar, N. Jagadeesan helped TN chase the target of 146 with 17 balls to spare.

TN opener N. Jagadeesan opener scored 67 off 47 balls which included three sixes.   -  FILE PHOTO/ VIJAY SONEJI

Defending champion Tamil Nadu produced a clinical performance to beat Punjab by seven wickets in the final league match of the Elite Group A match in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament in Lucknow on Tuesday.

The win ensured TN finished with four wins from five matches, tied on points with Maharashtra. However, TN topped the group despite a lower net run rate than Maharashtra as it had won the head-to-head battle and qualified for the quarterfinals.

Electing to bat, Punjab made 145/6; Gurkeerat Mann remained unbeaten on 43 (30b, 2x4, 2x6).

After a promising start, the Punjab innings never managed to find a higher gear to post a competitive total as TN kept picking wickets at regular intervals.

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The spinners R. Sai Kishore and B. Aparajith provided the initial breakthroughs before experienced pacer Sandeep Warrier picked up two crucial wickets towards the end to slow things down.

In its chase, despite losing two wickets in the PowerPlay, opener N. Jagadeesan (67, 47b, 6x4, 3x6) and skipper Vijay Shankar (59 n.o., 40b, 3x4, 4x6) sent the bowlers on a leather hunt. The duo added 105 runs for the third wicket partnership in just 11.3 overs to help TN seal the direct qualification berth for the quarterfinals.

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TN coach M. Venkatramana was elated with the team’s performances. “We bowled well and then backed it up with superb batting. To have a 100-run stand in a T20 match is very impressive,” said the former India off-spinner.

“Overall, I am satisfied with how we have played so far. Different players stepped up when the situation demanded. It has been a complete team effort,” he added.

Brief scores

Elite A (Lucknow)

Odisha 132/7 in 20 overs (Subhranshu Senapati 39, Suboth Bhati 4/27) lost to Pondicherry 136/4 in 19 overs (Ramachandran Ragupathy 39, Paras Dogra 54 n.o.).

Punjab 145/6 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 34, Gurkeerat Mann 43 n.o.) lost to Tamil Nadu 148/3 in 17.1 overs (N. Jagadeesan 67, Vijay Shankar 59 n.o.).

Maharashtra 177/3 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 44, Yash Nahar 103 n.o.) bt Goa 104 in 18.1 overs (Shubham Ranjane 35, Satyajeet Bachhav 3/27).

Final standings: Tamil Nadu 5-4-1-16 (+0.564), Maharashtra 5-4-1-16 (+2.277), Punjab 5-3-2-12 (+1.619), Goa 5-2-3-8 (-1.368), Odisha 5-1-4-4 (-0.957), Pondicherry 5-1-4-4 (-2.073). (Read as Played, Won, Lost, Points and NRR). TN topped the group as it had defeated Maharashtra.

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