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Inzamam hands Superstars first defeat

Overwhelming knocks from Hyderabad Heroes batsmen Inzamam-ul-Haq (44) and Abdul Razzaq (40) handed a rare defeat to the Chennai Superstars on Sunday.

The Pakistani duo accounted for an unbeaten 79-run partnership for the fourth-wicket to achieve the highest successful run-chase of the tournament. The Heroes chased the daunting target of 163 with 13 balls to spare.

Anirudh Singh (31) and Ambati Rayudu (28) had given the much-needed initial impetus to the Heroes with hostile knocks at the helm of the order to set up a steady launching pad for the middle-order batsmen.

The batsmen look a particular liking to Sarvanan in the thirteenth over of the innings, when they smashed the Superstars bowler for 27 runs.

Earlier, Chennai Superstars had looked on course for a fourth straight win in the competition when they piled up a healthy total 162/4.

Ian Harvey continued his rich vein of form when he scored an unbeaten 63 from 55 balls to carry his bat after opening the innings. He was ably supported by skipper Stuart Law (44) who added 85 runs for the third-wicket with his former Australian teammate.

Former India batsman and left-handed Hemang Badani hammered an unbeaten 33 from only 13 balls to provide the finishing touch to the Superstars innings.

Harvey was lucky to survive when, Azhar Mahmood hit his stump but the bail jumped up and fell back into the groove. The incident occurred very early in his innings when the Superstars were hoping to gather momentum, especially after two quick wickets had fallen.

V Devendran (10), who has been in good nick for the Superstars at the helm of the order, tried to play an overambitious stroke off Azhar Mahmood’s bowling and gave an easy catch to Shashank Nag.

Chris Read (2) came to bat at number three, like has right throughout the tournament and was quickly sent back to the pavilion when a misunderstanding with Ian Harvey lead to his run-out. Russell Arnold suffered the similar fate after the outstanding partnership between Law and Harvey was broken.

The outcome of the Heroes’ victory is that the Inzamam-led team has made a strong claim for a semi-final place. The Superstars, who are virtually through to the final four will face the Delhi Jets on Wednesday.

The Captains have started to take up the mantle here at the inaugural season of the Indian Cricket League. Craig McMillan played a blinder last night and it was the turn of Inzamam to turn on the heat for the Hyderabad Heroes.

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