An 81-run partnership between V.A. Jagadeesh and Rohan Prem helped Kerala to a stunning four-wicket victory over Tamil Nadu in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy (South Zone) here on Thursday.

Kerala (12 points) is now in contention for a spot in the all-India phase (reserved for the top two teams from each zone), while Tamil Nadu (10 points) has slipped to third place. All teams have one match remaining.

At Bhadravathi, a 64-ball 111 by opener Mayank Agarwal helped Karnataka post a 12-run win over Hyderabad. The host is sitting on top of the leaderboard with 14 points.

With its sights set on 184 to stay alive in the tournament, Kerala executed a perfect chase. In a crucial third-wicket stand, Jagadeesh and Prem ensured that the scoring rate hovered around nine runs per over. After they departed, Kerala needed 32 runs in the final three overs.

Pacer Sunil Sam conceded 14 runs in the 18th over, and the 19th over began with an audacious reverse-sweep by Raiphi Vincent Gomez. Yomahesh, who bowled a yorker at full tilt, watched as the ball raced past short third-man for four runs.

However, he finished tidily, leaving Kerala with eight to get in the final over.

Padmanabhan Prasanth then promptly deposited L. Balaji’s length deliveries for two identical sixes over long-on.

The scores: Tamil Nadu 183 for three in 20 overs (K.B. Arun Karthik 66, Dinesh Kartik 44, Abhinav Mukund 41 n.o.) lost to Kerala 188 for six in 19.2 overs (V.A. Jagadeesh 75, Rohan Prem 36, R.V. Gomez 22 n.o., Sunil Sam two for 39, L. Balaji two for 39).

Karnataka 185 for seven in 20 overs (Mayank Agarwal 111, K.L. Rahul 31, Manish Pandey 31, C.V. Milind three for 13, Bavanaka Sandeep two for 34) bt Hyderabad 173 for nine in 20 overs (T. Suman 36, Akash Bhandari 30, Akshath Reddy 24, Bavanaka Sandeep 21, K. Gowtham four for 19, Manish Pandey four for 37).

Goa 146 for eight in 20 overs (Swapnil Asnodkar 50, Atchuta Rao two for 20, Naren Reddy two for 24) lost to Andhra 149 for six in 19.3 overs (K.S. Bharat 51, B. Sumanth 27, Jyothi Sai Krishna 21 n.o., Sayed Badiuzzama two for 23).

Friday's fixtures: Andhra v Karnataka; Hyderabad v Tamil Nadu; Kerala v Goa.

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