Twenty20 cricket is often perceived to favour innovation, but there is still place for the methods of old.

On the first three days of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy (South Zone) here, players who have returned to the basics have shone. On pitches which offer movement and carry, the ability to preserve wickets — especially while chasing — has brought results.

In its match against Goa on the opening day, Karnataka’s usually belligerent openers, Mayank Agarwal and Manish Pandey, sacrificed pyrotechnics to good effect.

With sound technique, they safely took the host to a nine-wicket win by pinching singles and twos.

Tamil Nadu’s S. Badrinath and Abhinav Mukund also followed this path to success in its match against Goa on Monday.

Tuesday’s tied match between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka could force the organisers to resort to another old-hand — the net run-rate — to decide the table-topper.

Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are level on 10 points each, and at the end of the remaining two rounds of matches, the rivals could find themselves in another stalemate.

However, no official South Zone champion will be crowned, and a league winner will be calculated only to help make the draw of the top two teams which qualifies for the all-India stage.

Among the other teams, Kerala (8 points) stands the best chance of pushing its way into a top-two position.

Andhra and Goa (4 points each) have only a statistical chance of progressing, while Hyderabad (0 points) is out of the running.

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