The architects of Tamil Nadu’s four-wicket triumph over Karnataka at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi on Monday were Shahrukh Khan (33 not out, 1×4, 3×6) and Sai Kishore (4-0-12-3 with the ball and an unbeaten 6) who helped them retain the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 title. With Shahrukh and Sai Kishore in the middle, Tamil Nadu needed 16 runs from the last over to reach their target of 152. The equation came down to 5 off the last ball, and Shahrukh’s six over deep square-leg region off left-arm bowler Prateek Jain (1-34) got Tamil Nadu over the line and into the dugout.

“Everyone dreams of a last-ball six, and this innings will stay with me for a long time,” Shahrukh, the contest’s man-of-the-match, said after the match. Shahrukh stated of his mentality before the final ball, “In my head, there were a lot of things going on. I tried to connect it off the middle since the ball was rough and the wicket was slow. I was hoping to hit it over long-on, but I was able to get the room over square leg instead, “Shahrukh remarked.

With Tamil Nadu requiring 57 off 28 balls in the 16th over, the situation seemed tailor-made for Shahrukh. Shahrukh didn’t waste any time getting going, hitting a big six over long-on followed by a boundary over the cover region in the 17th over of the innings, bowled by medium-pacer MB Darshan. That over yielded 19 runs for Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu needed 30 runs off the last 12 overs, thus Prateek Jain, who bowled the 18th over, only let up 6 runs. Before the entrance of Sai Kishore in the 19th over, Shahrukh was temporarily joined by Sanjay Yadav and M Mohammed, who both scored five runs.

With a 44-run stand for the third wicket, N Jagadeesan (41, 2×4, 1×6) and skipper Vijay Shankar (18 maintained Tamil Nadu in the chase. In the 16th over, Cariappa (2-23) dismissed the two. Following Shahrukh’s arrival, the tide began to turn in Tamil Nadu’s favour.