Visakhapatnam: Karnataka and Tamil Nadu qualified for the Super League phase by finishing first and second in the South Zone leg of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy South T20 championship on Sunday.
Tamil Nadu defeated Hyderabad by 16 runs at Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, while Karnataka beat Kerala by 20 runs in Vizianagaram.
Karnataka topped the South Zone leg with 16 points from five matches (four wins and a defeat) on the basis of a better net run-rate.
Tamil Nadu finished second on 16 points from five matches (four wins and a loss) and net run-rate of +0.435) followed by Andhra (16 points, NRR: +0.109).
Sent in to bat by Hyderabad captain Ambati Rayudu, Tamil Nadu rode on quick-fire knocks by skipper Vijay Shankar (40, 16 balls, 2X4, 4X6) and R Sanjay Yadav (28 balls, 2X4, 3X6) in the middle of the innings to put up 193 for 7 in 20 overs.
In response, Andhra looked in control when captain Rayudu (53, 34 balls, 1X4, 4X6) and Tanmay Agarwal (59, 39 balls, 5X4, 2X6) were at the crease. The former, in particular, was severe on the leggie M Ashwin and smote him for two big sixes in one over.
Agarwal's exit sparked a collapse as the team slid from 125 for 2 to 141 for 7 in the space of four overs as MS Washington Sundar took three of the wickets to fall.
T Ravi Teja hit a few lusty blows but Andhra's challenge had effectively ended once the Rayudu-Agarwal partnership was broken.
In Vizianagaram, Kerala collapsed from 128 for 1 in 12 overs to be all out for 161 in 19.2 overs to hand Karnataka a 20-run win.
Karnataka and Tamil Nadu qualified for the Super League phase of the tournament to be held in Kolkata from 21 January.