Tamil Nadu's strategies in Twenty20 cricket are falling in place as the all-India championships approached the home stretch.
After having been stunned by Bengal in the opener, it won the concluding game against Madhya Pradesh by 12 runs.
MP injected excitement into the penultimate round-robin league tie by reducing Dinesh Karthik's side to 46 for four after opting to field. However, the TN captain kept the momentum going with a run-a-ball 27, and infused confidence in his teammates.
S. Vidyut, sent at No.3 under conditions assisting movement for seamers, made a quickfire 25 (16 balls, 4x4, 1x6). Then the dependable M. Vijay (35 off 29 balls), in the company of all-rounders Yomahesh (14) and R. Prasanna (15), took the total to a fighting 143.
TN bowlers tried to keep rival batsmen in check, backed by some alert ground fielding. Karthik, taking charge in the absence of Badrinath (hamstring strain) and Hemang Badani (injured back), remained in the thick of action, but MP inched closer to win.
The India keeper grabbed an edge off C. Ganapathy to send back the talented opener Naman Ojha. R. Ashwin, Yomahesh and Vidyut snared a wicket each. MP's late charge through Rahul Bakshi (23 off 20) and strongman Brijesh Tomar (21 off 14) was foiled.
Devendra Bundela, frustrated by some disciplined bowling, heaved against Vidyut and holed out to Vasudeva Das at deep mid-off. Murtuza Ali got run out after a useful 17 off 12 balls, going for the second run.