A keen duel for the all important first innings lead was on the cards and this did come about on the concluding day of the Coca Cola Trophy (under-25) tournament final between Kerala and Tamil Nadu at the Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar Sports Complex in Bangalore on Monday. Ultimately Kerala emerged triumphant by snatching a 15-run lead.

Tamil Nadu resumed at 122 for three in reply to Kerala's 323. They suffered an early reverse when Lokesh was out without adding to his overnight score of 50. But their hopes were revived with Subash Raj and skipper Ganesh Kumar (17) adding 48 runs off 21.3 overs. By now it had become a battle of attrition. Dhandapani (17) left at 195 but Subash Raj continued to solider on and with MR Shrinivas (42) added 72 runs for the seventh wicket off 29 overs. At 267 for six, Tamil Nadu were back in the hunt. However at this stage, Shrinivas was run out, dealing a severe blow to Tamil Nadu's hopes. Shrinivas faced 80 balls and hit four of them to the ropes. When Raghuram (0) was out at 268, Tamil Nadu's goose seemed as good as cooked.

But Subash Raj was still around and he made a valiant last ditch attempt with the help of the tailenders. With No 10 Vasudevan (11) he added 21 runs for the ninth wicket off eight overs. And he continued to battle it out in the company of last man Velmurugan (9 not out) with whom he added 19 runs off four overs. The score went past the 300 mark until amidst much tension and excitement, Subash Raj was leg before to Rajesh with the Tamil Nadu total at 308. Subash Raj had batted in gallant fashion for 84 which took him 418 minutes to compile. He faced 293 balls and hit seven fours. Opening bowler R Menon was the most successful bowler with three for 81 while P Manoj and PV Rajesh took two wickets each. The match was called off after 3.1 mandatory overs when Tamil Nadu were all out. Kerala were richer by Rs 50,000 while Tamil Nadu had to remain content with Rs 30,000. SK Nair chairman, finance comittee, BCCI was the chief guest at the prize distribution function.