Set a below-par 121-run target by Baroda, Tamil Nadu lost the tournament's leading run-scorer N Jagadeesan for just 14. But fellow opener Hari Nishanth and No. 3 Baba Aparajith steadied the ship, putting on 41-run partnership and keeping the required run rate below 6 at all times.
Nishanth holed out at fine leg off a poor delivery, but captain Dinesh Karthik provided some momentum just as Baroda were beginning to get a sniff of the game. The wicket-keeper scored 22 off 16 balls before a rash pull brought about his downfall.
With dew setting in, the Baroda spinners didn't find much turn in Ahmedabad. In an attempt to get the chase down with early, Tamil Nadu sent in big Shahrukh Khan at No. 5. The youngster scored an unbeaten 18 off 7 balls to get his team across the line with 2 overs to spare.
Tamil Nadu clinched the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for the second time after their win in the 2006/07 season. Karthik's side avenged the disappointment of their 1-run loss to Karnataka in the 2019 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy final.
Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021: Tamil Nadu spin quartet chokes Baroda
After winning the toss and electing to field on a pitch that was clearly heaven for spinners, Tamil Nadu applied the choke on Baroda. Sai Kishore, Baba Aparajith, Manimaran Siddharth and Murugan Ashwin extracted appreciable turn, and reduced Baroda to 36/6.
Vishnu Solanki, who came in at No. 3, waged a lone battle for Baroda. He rotated strike well given the circumstances, and made 49 off 55 balls before being dismissed in the final over. Solanki had support from Atit Sheth, who scored a handy 29 off 30 balls after coming in at No. 8.
Siddharth, who was playing his first game of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021, was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4/20. Pacers Sonu Yadav and M Mohammed went for a few runs at the death as Baroda scored 49 runs off the last 4 overs.
Dew began to set in towards the end of the Baroda innings, and Tamil Nadu were always going to be in the driver's seat during the chase.