Tamil Nadu and Baroda will clash in the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament after the two sides won their semi-final matches comfortably on Friday. While Tamil Nadu defeated Rajasthan by seven wickets, Baroda beat Punjab by 25 runs. The final, too, will be played here on Sunday.
In the first semi-final, Arun Karthik's unbeaten 89 off just 54 balls propelled Tamil Nadu to their second successive final of the T20 tournament.
An 89-run partnership between Karthik (9x4s, 3x6s) and captain Dinesh Karthik (26 off 17, 3x4s) for the fourth wicket helped Tamil Nadu chase down a target with eight balls to spare. Rajasthan scored 154 for nine wickets in 20 overs and Tamil Nadu overhauled the target and finished at 158 for three wickets in 18.4 overs.
TN opener Narayan Jagadeesan made 28 off as many balls before falling to Ravi Bishnoi. It was the only wicket that Bishnoi took in his four overs in which he conceded 32 runs.
Earlier, pacer M Mohammed took four wickets as Tamil Nadu restricted Rajasthan. Captain Ashok Menaria was Rajasthan's highest scorer with 51 runs.
In the second semi-final, captain Kedar Devdhar scored 64 off 49 deliveries (4x4s, 3x6s), Kartik Kakade made 53 off 41 balls (5x4s, 2x6s), and left-arm seamer Lukman Meriwala took three for 28 to help Baroda beat Punjab.
Baroda scored 160/3 in 20 overs on the back of half-centuries from Devdhar and Kakade. In response, Meriwala took two early wickets to shake Punjab's innings. Although skipper Mandeep Singh tried a few lusty blows towards the end in his 24-ball 42-run knock, it proved to be too little too late.
Semi-final 1: Rajasthan 154/9 in 20 overs (Ashok Menaria 51, Arjit Gupta 45; M Mohammed 4/24) lost to Tamil Nadu 158/3 in 18.4 overs (Arun Karthik 89 not out, Narayan Jagadeesan 28; Tanveer Ul-Haq 1/22) by seven wickets with eight balls remaining
Semi-final 2: Baroda 160/3 in 20 overs (K Devdhar 64, K Kakade 53 not out, M Markande 1/29) beat Punjab 135/8 in 20 overs (Mandeep 42 not out, Gurkeerat Mann 39, L Meriwala 3/28) by 25 runs.