Opting to bowl first, TN could not contain the Karnataka batting as Pandey’s team posted 180 for five. In reply, TN finished on 179 for six.
Vijay Shankar and Baba Aparajith seemed to take TN to a miraculous win as it needed 13 runs in the last over and Ravichandran Ashwin hit the first two balls for fours. But Karnataka defended well and won the thriller.
R Ashwin started the bowling for TN and KL Rahul hit the first ball for four to signal his intention. Rahul’s partner Devdutt Padikkal hit left-arm medium pacer Natarajan for a six over mid-wicket and then KL Rahul hoisted Ashwin for a six off the first ball of the spinner’s third over.
Soon Ashwin was on a hat-trick as Mayank Agarwal spooned a return catch to Ashwin. Agarwal wanted to turn it to mid-wicket, closed the bat face early and offered a simple chance via a leading edge.
At the other end, Padikkal was in mod to relent. He came down heavily on Washington Sundar hitting the India off-spinner for a six and a four off successive deliveries as Karnataka posted its 50 in 5.3 overs.
Ashwin came back from the other end and Padikkal glanced him for four and reached 30 with three fours and two sixes. Manish Pandey too got into his element as he hit M Ashwin for a six in the ninth over and followed it up with a six off Washing ton Sundar in the next over. However, Washington was on target as Padikkal (32 off 23 balls) perished trying to turn a ball and was bowled in the same over. Karnataka was 89 for three after 10 overs.
Karnataka slowed down once TN brought in its fourth and fifth spinners, Sai Kishore and Siddharth. However, it reached 100 in 12 overs without further damage.Manish Pandey stayed till the end to take Karnataka to a respectable 180 though it remained on course for crossing 200.
It was going be a battle between Karnataka’s batting and Tamil Nadu’s bowling. With Mithun sitting out with an injury, Karnataka went in with three spinners while TN was unchanged.
Karnataka 180/5 in 20 overs (M Pandey 60*, D Padikkal 32, R Kadam 35, M Ashwin 2/33, R Ashwin 2/34) TN 179/6 in 20 overs (V Shankar 44, B Aparajith 40,R More 2/32)