Tamil Nadu defeated Madhya Pradesh by 12 runs in their last Group B match at Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium in Motera near Ahmedabad on Thursday morning and have kept alive their hopes of making it to the final, which will depend on the result of tonight's Bengal-Mumbai clash.
Tamil Nadu, with consecutive wins over Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, have dashed Mumbai's hopes of making it to the final of the maiden edition of the inter-state Twenty20 championship.
It was yet another low-scoring match and if the Madhya Pradesh batsmen had shown some application, they would have won the game and disturbed all calculations.
Batting first, Tamil Nadu were all out for 143 in 19.3 overs against some very good bowling by Anand Rajan and T. Sudhindar, who claimed 3 for 34 and 2 for 19 respectively.
M Vijay with 35 off 29 balls (2x4, 1x6) was the top scorer for Tamil Nadu. Dinesh Kaarthick (27) and S Vidyut (25) again batted well and lent some respectability to their team's score.
Madhya Pradesh, which has not done well in this competition, had a chance to salvage some pride. But they could score only 131 for 5 in the stipulated 20 overs with M Pasha (25) and Rahul Bakshi (23 not out) making useful contributions.
Madhya Pradesh's excessively cautious approach was a bit surprising, considering they had nothing to lose, being already out of the tournament.
Tamil Nadu had defeated Mumbai from a losing position on Monday. And Mumbai have paid a heavy price for that. Even if Mumbai beats Bengal, Tamil Nadu will make the final on account of their earlier win over Amol Muzumdar and company.
But if Bengal beats Mumbai, then Tamil Nadu will be out of the tournament. For Bengal had earlier beaten Tamil Nadu. So tonight's tie will decide whether it is Bengal or Tamil Nadu which will clash in the final with the winner of the Group A.