Shahrukh Khan, whose last-ball six helped Tamil Nadu lift the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, has termed his heroics of hitting a final-ball six ‘special’, and has insisted that he will remember the moment for a long time.
Tamil Nadu, chasing 152, needed 16 to win off the final over, and the equation then came down to 5 needed off 1 ball, with Shahrukh on strike. Bowling from over the wicket, left-armer Prateek Jain landed the ball in the slot on leg-stump, and Shahrukh deposited it over the square leg boundary to help TN lift their second SMAT title in as many years.
“It has been a special thing to hit a last-ball six. I'll remember this for a long time,” Shahrukh Khan said, after being named Man of the Match.
The 26-year-old revealed that, despite a lot of things running in his mind, he tried to keep things simple.
“There were a lot of things in my mind, but I tried to keep it simple. The ball was rough and the wicket was slow, so I wanted to connect it off the middle. I was waiting to hit it over long-on, and I got the room to get it over square leg.”
Skipper Vijay Shankar, who did not have the greatest of days on the field, meanwhile claimed that the victory belonged to the entire squad, support staff included. Shankar described the final as the best game he’s been a part of, and expressed happiness over being able to get a victory over fierce rivals Karnataka, the team that downed them in the final in 2019.
“We played fantastic cricket throughout. Everyone fought hard and it's the best game I've been part of. This innings was due from SRK, he was hitting it well in the nets. We believed in SRK, Mohammed and Sanjay, these three are capable of the big ones,” Shankar said.
“In the middle, Cariappa bowled well, so we couldn't accelerate. Karnataka and TN always have a rivalry and we are happy to end up on the winning side. There was a five-for (by Saravana Kumar) in the last game, we had to drop him for this game. So this is a win for the support staff and the entire squad.”
Tamil Nadu have now won back-to-back Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy titles after suffering a heartbreak in the final in 2019.