Author: Pavan Suresh
Karnataka defeated Tamil Nadu by one run in the final of the 2019/20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy played at Lalabhai Contractor Stadium, Surat.
It was an amazing performance by the defending champions, who played some outstanding cricket in the entire tournament.
The defending Champions were placed in Group A and finished second in the points table after the completion of the league stage.
In the Super League stage, Karnataka won against Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand. Despite losing to Mumbai in their last match, Manish Pandey led side qualified for the semi-finals due to a better run rate.
Karnataka have proved that they are the domestic giants in the limited overs format this year by winning the Vijay Hazare Trophy and now retaining the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Here we look at the 5 Heroes for Karnataka in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy title defence
After an impressive 2019 Vijay Hazare Trophy season, the young left-handed batsman Devdutt Padikkal showed his skills in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy also.
The youngster finished the tournament as the leading run getter with 580 runs from 12 matches (12 innings) with a century and five half-centuries, at an average of 64.44.
His best score in this year’s tournament was 122 not out off 60 balls against Andhra Pradesh. Paddikal impressed one and all with his stroke play. Along with his opening partner, Paddikal provided flying starts to the team while chasing or setting a massive total.
His ability to play aggressive strokes makes him a treat to watch. His knocks helped the champions put less pressure on the other batsmen to follow. During the 12 innings he played in the tournament, he remained not out on three occasions.
The experienced Manish Pandey also played a vital role in Karnataka’s title defence. He played nine matches (eight innings) and scored 314 runs with one century and two half-centuries.
During the course of this tournament, he scored the second highest individual scorer by an Indian in T20s when he scored 129* against Services.
Manish Pandey played a captain’s knock in the final against Tamil Nadu. He scored 60 vital runs and remained not out to help Karnataka post a competitive total of 180 for 5. Because of his commitments to the Indian team, he did not play full matches but contributed to the team’s success.
His captaincy was up to the mark and his run out to dismiss Vijay Shankar in the final changed the course of the game.
Ahead of the West Indies T20I series, KL Rahul has shown great form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Along with Devdutt Paddikal, he gave flying starts to Karnataka on every occasion.
The India international played a total of eight matches ( eight innings) and scored 313 runs with an average of 52.16 and strike rate of 155.72. His best score was 84 off 48 balls against Punjab in the Super League Group B match.
Needing 195 runs to win against Haryana in the semi-finals, KL Rahul looked in great touch and smashed the Haryana bowlers all over the park as he scored 66 off 31 balls. His opening partnership of 125 for the opening wicket with Devdutt Padikkal laid the foundation for an easy win by 8 wickets.
The experienced Shreyas Gopal proved his worth for Karnataka in Syed Musthaq Ali Trophy tournament. He was the second highest leading wicket taker in the tournament with 19 wickets from 12 matches (12 innings) at an economy of 6.78 runs per over.
He was quite impressive in the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League for Rajasthan Royals as well with 20 wickets from 14 matches with an economy of 7.22 runs per over including an hat-trick against Royal Challengers Bangalore. The leggie is one to look out for in the future.
He remained consistent for Karnataka in entire campaign and his best figures were 5/19 against Services. During the semi-finals against Haryana, where other bowlers were smashed all over the park, Gopal provided the key breakthrough by dismissing Harshal Patel and then got the wicket of Shivam Chauhan. He finished with decent figures of 2 for 23 in his quota of four overs.
The experienced Abhimanyu Mithun played eight matches (eight innings) and picked a total of 10 wickets with an economy of 9.37 runs per over.
In the semi-finals against Haryana, Mithun was smashed in the first three overs but bowled a sensational final over by picking five wickets in six balls including a hat-trick. It was an amazing effort by Mithun who gave away just 2 runs and restricted Haryana to 194.
Abhimanyu Mithun did not feature in the playing XI against Tamil Nadu in the finals but did enough to bring the trophy to his state again.