Mayank Agarwal (85 n.o., 57b, 6×4, 3×6) put up a class act at the Holkar Stadium here on Thursday and led Karnataka to its first Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 title. The win against Maharashtra in the final was its 12th on the trot in this year’s tournament.
With his side set a target of 156 on a batting pitch, Mayank took charge of the proceeding after the fall of opener B. Sharath, first by attacking the tournament’s highest wicket-taker and left-arm spinner Satyajeet Bachhav and then forging a match-winning partnership of 92 off 59 balls with left-hander Rohan Kadam (60, 39b, 6×4, 3×6) for the second wicket.
Mayank provided a fitting finish to Karnataka’s dream run with his sixth boundary off left-arm seamer Divyang Himganekar.
Karanataka did not look back once Mayank went after Bachaav, hitting him for two cover-driven fours and swinging a short ball over square-leg for a six. Mayank miscued an off-side shot in between, but the skier was beyond the reach of Vishal Gite running at deep cover.
After Kadam’s departure at 106, Karun Nair played the supporting role in Karnataka’s unbroken third-wicket stand of 53 off 38 balls.
Steadying the ship
Naushad Shaikh steadied the Maharashtra innings that had lost two wickets by the first ball of the eighth over. Put into bat, Maharashtra lost opener Ruturaj Gaikwad and did not find the ball racing to the fence often in the six-over PowerPlay.
Summoned to the middle after Karnataka wicketkeeper Sharath smartly flicked the bails to get rid of Vijay Zol stumped, Shaikh and Ankeet Bawane counter-attacked left-arm spinner J. Suchith in the 11th over.
The fourth-wicket stand between Shaikh and Bawane put the team back on track and on it appeared that Maharashtra would be able to post a stiff target. But Abhimanyu Mithun’s excellent third and fourth overs, a little help from Vasuki Koushik and leg-spinner K.C. Cariappa and sharp fielding in the deep checked Maharashtra’s run rate.
While Shaikh sustained his effort, hitting eight fours and three sixes, the fall of Bawane in the last ball of the 18th over to Mithun did not give much leeway for the West Zone.
Maharashtra: Ruturaj Gaikwad c Suchith b Mithun 12, Rahul Tripathi c Vinay Kumar b Cariappa 30, Vijay Zol St Sharath b Suchith 8, Naushad Shaikh (not out) 69, Ankeet Bawane c Nair b Mithun 29, Nikhil Naik (not out) 3; Extras (b-1, w-3): 4; Total (for four wkts. in 20 overs): 155.
Fall of wickets: 1-35, 2-46, 3-55, 4-136.
Karnataka bowling: Vinay Kumar 4-0-39-0, Abhimanyu Mithun 4-0-24-2, Vasuki Koushik 4-0-31-0, K.C. Cariappa 4-0-26-1, J. Suchith 2-0-20-1, Shreyas Gopal 2-0-14-0.
Karnataka: Rohan Kadam c Zol b Himganekar 60, B.R. Sharath b Fallah 2, Mayank Agarwal (not out) 85, Karun Nair (not out) 8; Extras (w-4): 4; Total (for two wkts. in 18.3 overs): 159.
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-106.
Maharashtra bowling: Samad Fallah 4-0-33-1, Vishal Gite 3-0-26-0, Satyajeet Bachhav 4-0-0-43-0, Divyang Himganekar 3.3.-0-21-1, Naushad Shaikh 2-0-23-0, Azim Kazi 2-0-13-0.