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Inzy's Heroes steamroll Champs

The Hyerabad Heroes defeated the Mumbai Champs by a convincing 33-run margin in Game 3 of the ICL 20:20 Indian Championship.

The Champs never gathered any momentum during their run-chase of 122, despite having to score at a meager 6 runs per over. Pakistan fast bowlers Azhar Mahmood (2/13) and Abdul Razzaq (1/13) rocked the Champs’ top-order, leaving the Lara-led team in totters at 27/4. The biggest setback occurred when Brian Lara was dismissed for a golden duck, LBW to Azhar Mahmood.

The captain of the Heroes, Inzamam-ul-Haq was adjudged the man-of-the-match for his valuable unbeaten innings of 42. Nathan Astle (31) was the top-scorer for the Champs and the struck the team’s only six of the innings. Overall, the Champs managed only four boundaries and a six in their entire innings – a clear indication that the Heroes’ bowlers were all over them from start to finish.

The big battle of the night between Inzamam-ul-Haq and Brian Lara was won by the former, fair and square, with the bat and more importantly, with the outcome of the match.

A late flourish from Ranjeet Kirid (19) was just not enough, leaving the Champs with 34 runs to get off the last over, but Rakesh Patel’s run out on the last ball of the 19th over sealed the match. Chasing 123 to win, the Champs were bowled out for just 88.

The pitch was keeping low and did not allow batsmen to play strokes at will – Inzamam’s innings was quite a gem – especially the manner in which the former Pakistan captain accelerated during the close of the Heroes’ innings.

New Zealand veteran Chris Harris (2/11) was the other star performer for the Heroes, claiming the crucial wickets of Nathan Astle and Johan van der Wath (0). Lef-arm orthodox bowler Nicky Boje bowled just the single over and snapped Subhojit Paul’s wicket. The Champs’ wicket-keeper batsman was looking good on 14, but could not accelerate the run-rate.

Syed Shahubuddin (1/10) was the other impressive Heroes bowler – conceding just 10 runs from his quota of four overs. He was the most economical bowler of the night and took the wicket of middle-order batsman of Shreyas Khanolkar.

Earlier, Inzamam won the toss and elected to bat first. The Heroes failed to gather any substantial thrust in their innings and it took a late resurgence from their captain who struck two clean sixes in his unbeaten knock of 42.

Avinash Yadav (3/22) was the pick of the bowlers for the Hyderabad Heroes, claiming the wickets Ambati Rayudu (13), Abdul Razzaq (2) and Chris Harris (13).

The victorious Hyderabad team has joined the Chandigarh Lions and Chennai Superstars on the winning front at the close of Day 2 of the ICL 20:20 Indian Championship.

The Heroes face the Delhi Jets tomorrow, December 2nd. The Champs, on the other hand, face the Chennai Superstars on the 3rd of December. Lara and his boys will have to do a lot of bucking up work before that encounter!

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