Tamil Nadu and Baroda will lock horns in the SMAT final on Sunday (Image: BCCI)
Tamil Nadu and Baroda will lock horns in the SMAT final on Sunday (Image: BCCI)

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Vibrant Tamil Nadu, rejuvenated Baroda to clash for ultimate glory

ANI | Updated: Jan 30, 2021 14:57 IST


New Delhi [India], January 30 (ANI): The stage is set, one last hurdle awaits both Baroda and Tamil Nadu as they lock horns in the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
While Tamil Nadu registered comfortable victories in their last two games, Baroda came from behind in the third quarter-final and then rode on Kedar Devdhar and Karthik Kakade fifties to march into the final.
Both the sides haven't lost a single game in the ongoing tournament and will obviously be looking to extend their winning streak when they face each other for the ultimate glory.
While Tamil Nadu has the services of experienced campaigners such as Dinesh Karthik, Baroda played their last four games including quarter-final and semi-final without regular skipper Krunal Pandya.
Krunal left the bio-bubble created for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in Vadodara after his father passed away earlier this month. Prior to this incident, vice-captain Deepak Hooda had also left the team citing issues with the skipper.

Despite the absence of big names, Devdhar led Baroda from the front and played a key role in the team's run through the tournament. He smashed a match-winning 64 off 49 balls in the semi-final.
Meanwhile, the runners-up of last year's edition Tamil Nadu are in red hot form. The Karthik-led side had an impressive campaign so far in the ongoing tournament with the skipper himself scoring on important occasions.
Also with the Indian Premier League's (IPL) 2021 auction around the corner, the summit clash can be key in deciding the fate of some players who have played an important role in guiding their sides to victories.
R Sai Kishore, who was retained by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) last week, will be looking to perform on the big stage in order to be in Mahendra Singh Dhoni's playing XI for the upcoming tournament.
The IPL mini-auction ahead of the 2021 edition of the tournament will be held in Chennai on February 18. (ANI)

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