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Aparajith, Siddharth star as Tamil Nadu wins SMAT for second time

Manimaran Siddharth four-wicket haul and Baba Aparajith's unbeaten 29-run knock helped Tamil Nadu defeat Baroda by seven wickets in the finals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Sunday here at the Motera Stadium.
Aparajith, Siddharth star as Tamil Nadu wins SMAT for second time

Mmaran Siddharth four-wicket haul and Baba Aparajith's unbeaten 29-run knock helped Tamil Nadu defeat Baroda by seven wickets in the finals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Sunday here at the Motera Stadium.

This is the second time Tamil Nadu has won the T20 tournament. Earlier, the side had won the competition way back in the 2006-07 season. In the 2020-21 tournament, Dinesh Karthik-led Tamil Nadu did not lose a single match and the side emerged as deserving winners.

Chasing 121, Tamil Nadu openers Hari Nishanth and N Jagadeeshan put on 26 runs for the first wicket, and Baroda finally ended the stand in the fourth over as Lukman Meriwala dismissed Jagadeeshan (14).

Baba Aparajith then joined Nishanth in the middle and the duo put on 41 runs for the second wicket, but as soon as Tamil Nadu started to gain an upper hand, Baroda clawed their way back as Babashafi Pathan dismissed Nishanth (35) in the 12th over, reducing Baroda to 67/2.

Karthik and Aparajith ensured that Tamil Nadu did not suffer from more hiccups and the duo was looking in no difficulty, but with 20 runs required, Dinesh Karthik (22) ended up losing his wicket. In the end, however, Aparajith (29*) and Shahrukh Khan (18*) took Tamil Nadu over the line by seven wickets with 12 balls to spare.

Earlier, a spirited bowling performance by Mmaran Siddharth helped Tamil Nadu restrict Baroda to 120/9 in the allotted twenty overs.

Put into bat first, Baroda got off to a bad start as the side was restricted to 28/3 after the conclusion of the sixth over. Kedar Devdhar (16), Ninad Rathva (1), and Smit Patel (1) disappointed with the bat and the responsibility of posting a good enough total came down to the middle-order.

However, Baroda's innings was further reduced to a slump as Bhanu Pa (0) was run-out after facing just one ball and Abhimanyu Rajput managed to score just two runs, reducing the side to 32/5 in the ninth over.

Vishnu Solanki and Atit Sheth then got together at the crease for Baroda and the duo tried to retrieve the innings by mixing caution with aggression. The duo put on 58 runs for the seventh wicket but in the penultimate over, Sheth (29) ended up losing his wicket to Sonu Yadav.

In the final over, Baroda was able to score 12 runs and as a result, the side posted a total of 120.

Brief Scores: Baroda 120/9 (Vishnu Solanki 49, Atit Sheth 29, Mmaran Siddharth 4-20); Tamil Nadu 123/3 (Hari Nishanth 35, Baba Aparajith 29*, Babashafi Pathan 1-23).

( With inputs from ANI )

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