Siddharth stars as Tamil Nadu clinch their second Mushtaq Ali crown | Cricket News

2021-01-31 17:08:13

CHENNAI: Left-arm spinner M Siddharth (4-0-20-4) proved to be Tamil Nadu’s trump card as they defeated Baroda by seven wickets to clinch their second Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 crown at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday night.
Siddharth’s show with the ball restricted Baroda to a modest total of 120/9 and TN chased down the target — scoring 123-3 — in 18 overs. Opener C Hari Nishanth (35, 3×4, 1×6) and B Aparajith (29 n.o., 1×4) led with the bat but the evening belonged to Siddharth.
“We will bring in Siddharth at a crucial juncture,” is all that TN coach D Vasu would state whenever asked about the 22-year-old missing from the playing XI through the course of the tournament. The right time arrived in the all-important final and Siddharth didn’t disappoint at all.

Siddharth, who last played a T20 game in the previous edition of the tournament against Karnataka in Surat, broke through Baroda’s top-order in the first half of play. He hasn’t had the best of times in the last few months. Siddharth failed to get a game for Kolkata Knight Riders in the previous edition of the IPL and wasn’t even retained by them for the upcoming season. However, with the IPL auctions not far away, Siddharth’s strong show on Sunday would make him a hot property.
Introduced in the 4th over, Siddharth began shakily — overstepping in his very first delivery and hit for two successive boundaries by Baroda skipper Kedar Devdhar (16, 3×4). However, Siddharth had the final laugh as he dismissed Devdhar — caught by N Jagadeesan at cover point region — in the same over.
In his next over, Siddharth’s arm ball trapped Smit Patel (1) in front to leave Baroda on 28 for 3 at the end of powerplay overs. After his first two overs —Siddharth’s figures read 2-0-14-2. He wasn’t done yet. In his third over, Siddharth — bowling from wide of the crease — saw the ball stop at Abhimanyu Rajput and the batsmen scooped it back to the bowler who grabbed a simple caught-and-bowled chance. Two balls later, Siddharth had cleaned up Kartik Kakade as Baroda slipped to 36 for 6.
In-form Vishnu Solanki — who top-scored with a 55-ball 49, and his seventh-wicket stand of 58 runs with Atit Sheth (29, 2×4, 1×6) and a late cameo by Bhargav Bhatt (12 off 5 balls) saw Baroda end on a total which at one point looked unlikely.
A modest target of 121 wasn’t going to be a cakewalk on a wicket where run-making was a laborious exercise. TN lost N Jagadeesan (14, 3×4) early before Hari Nishaanth and Aparajith steadied the innings with their 41-run stand for the second wicket. Skipper Dinesh Karthik’s knock of 22 and M Shahrukh Khan (18 n.o., 2×4, 1×6) made sure it was TN’s night.
Brief scores: Baroda 120-9 in 20 overs (Vishnu Solanki 49; M Siddharth 4-20). Tamil Nadu 123-3 in 18 overs (C Hari Nishaanth 35, B Aparajith 29 n.o.). Tamil Nadu won by 7 wickets

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