The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 has reached its decisive phase, with the champions to be crowned on January 31. The two semi-final encounters were played on Friday, January 29.
Tamil Nadu outplayed Rajasthan by seven wickets in the first semi-final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021. They restricted the Ashok Menaria-led side to a score of 154/9 in their allotted 20 overs and chased down the target with eight deliveries to spare.
M Mohammed starred with the ball for the victors, accounting for four wickets while conceding just 24 runs. Arun Karthik spearheaded the Tamil Nadu run-chase, as his unbeaten 89 helped the Dinesh Karthik-led team recover after they lost their first couple of wickets with just 17 runs on the board.
Baroda put it across Punjab by 25 runs in the other semi-final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021. They posted a decent total of 160/3 on the board and allowed the Elite Group A winners to score just 135/8 in their allotted 20 overs.
Baroda's score was built on the back of half-centuries by their captain Kedar Devdhar (64) and Kartik Kakade (53*). Lukman Meriwala (3/28) put Punjab on the back foot in the run-chase by dismissing their openers and was ably assisted by all their other bowlers.
Tamil Nadu will take on Baroda in the all-important final to be played on Sunday, January 31.
Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 batting and bowling charts
Narayan Jagadeesan has emerged as the highest run-scorer of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 after the conclusion of the semi-final encounters.
The Tamil Nadu opener has amassed 350 runs in the seven matches he has played, with an unbeaten 78 as his top score. Jagadeesan's runs have come at a decent strike rate of 142.27 and include 28 fours and 17 sixes.
Prabhsimran Singh has slipped to the second position in the run-scoring charts. The Punjab wicketkeeper-batsman aggregated 341 runs in the tournament, with an unbeaten 89 being his best effort. Singh had an acceptable strike rate of 142.08 and struck 24 fours apart from 22 hits over the rope.
Kedar Devdhar has climbed to the third spot in the highest run-scorers list of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021. The Baroda skipper has accumulated 333 runs thus far, with an unbeaten 99 as his highest score. Devdhar has been slightly on the conservative side, having scored his runs at a strike rate of 112.12 with the help of 32 fours and 11 maximums.
Jagadeesan and Devdhar are likely to fight it out to finish as the highest run-scorer of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 as their teams contest for the title. Vishnu Solanki (218), C Hari Nishaanth (211) and Arun Karthik (163) are the other top run-getters of the two finalists.
Ashutosh Aman, with 16 wickets to his credit, continues to be the highest wicket-taker of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021.
The Bihar left-arm spinner finished with a best spell of 4/9 and an exceptional economy rate of 5.08.
Avesh Khan, Siddarth Kaul and Lukman Meriwala are the joint second-highest wicket-takers of the tournament. They have accounted for 14 wickets apiece and are placed in that order based on their averages.
Madhya Pradesh's Khan had a spell of 5/17 as his best effort but was slightly on the expensive side, as he conceded an average of 7.45 runs per over. Kaul from Punjab returned figures of 4/26 as his best performance and had a decent economy rate of 6.73.
Baroda's Meriwala has a sensational spell of 5/8 as his best returns and has an impressive economy rate of 6.22. He is the only bowler among the top four who can add to his tally of wickets and will be looking to displace Aman from the top of the wicket-takers charts of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021.
Tamil Nadu's Murugan Ashwin and Baroda's Atit Sheth, with 10 wickets each in their respective kitties, are the other top wicket-takers from the two teams contesting the final.