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Hinds stars in Rockets' win

A first wicket partnership of 122 runs between openers Wavell Hinds(59) and Sachin Dholpure (54) propelled Ahemedabad Rockets to a 19-run win in the opening match of the Indian Cricket League.

After electing to bat first after skipper Damien Martyn won the toss, Ahmedabad Rockets-and opener Wavell Hinds in particular-needed no invitation to start with a bang. Hinds smashed the new ball to all corners putting on 122 runs for the first wicket with Sachin Dholpure.

It was the brilliance of Wavell Hinds in the initial overs, who launched a series of typical flamboyant aerial shots against all the bowlers in the initial part of the Rockets' innings. It was a gentle drive through the covers that marked the first boundary for Wavell Hinds off the last delivery of the first over, but it was only in the fifth over that Hinds opened his hands hitting a six and a four off the bowling of off-spinner Rajesh Sharma. He was given passing support by Dholpure, who in the meantime smashed three fours and a six to race to 25 off 19 balls at the end of seventh over.

Leg spinner Karanveer Singh found plenty of turn in his first over, but Hinds' response was to hit him for two consecutive sixes, the first of which soared into the empty stands. Dholpure was content with playing second fiddle to Hinds who raced to 42 runs at the end of ten overs with Rockets' score being 84 for no loss.

After ten overs, it was Dholpure who got into the attacking mode hitting a six and four off consecutive deliveries off the medium pace of Chris Cairns in the 12th over and racing to his fifty off 39 balls in the same over. Karanveer was brought back into attack in the 14th over, but Hinds continued his dominance over Singh hitting him for a six and four in consecutive deliveries.

It was the off-spin of Dinesh Mongia which resulted in to the fall of first wicket for Rockets in the from of Dholpure who mistimed a shot to deep mid-wicket to Mathew Elliot on the very first ball of the 15th over with the scorecard reading 122 for 1.

Mongia again struck in the same over picking up Damien Martyn with a quicker delivery knocking over the off stump and on the very next ball, it was the turn of Wavell Hinds, who smashed 59 off 43 balls, to return to pavilion after being run out to a brilliant throw by TP Singh. Chris Cairns did it in for S Sriram who lofted a simple catch to TP Singh after making 5 in the 17th over.

Cairns did further damage when he picked up Murray Goodwin off the very next delivery to make it 134 for 5 for Rockets in 17 overs. Some hard hitting by Heath Streak, who hit three consecutive fours off the last three balls of the last over, propelled Rockets to a challenging total of 158 for 5.

Mathew Elliot gave Lions' reply early impetus but it was Rakesh Patel who removed the other opener Lou Vincent, who gave a simple catch to Wavell Hinds at third man on an individual score of 5 in the fourth over. The dismissal brought together Mathew Elliot and TP Singh and the pair cracked off 54 runs off 44 balls.

T P Singh hit the ball beautifully in his short stay of 22 minutes in which he hit three fours before he was stumped by Rockets keeper Vora in second attempt at an individual score of 20. S Sriram removed danger man Mathew Elliot in the 12th over to make it 74 for 3 for Lions before skipper Chris Cairns and Dinesh Mongia took charge.

Mongia hit a towering six off the very first ball he faced and continued to deal in the from of boundaries. They managed to deal in boundaries and occasional hits to the boundary to take Lions within 55 runs of the target with five overs remaining. But Jason Gilespie struck in the 16th over removing Chris Cairns on a score of 21. Heath Streak scalped the wicket of Dinesh Mongia in the next over with the Lions needing 46 off 22 balls.

Once Reeteinder Singh Sodhi removed Manish Sharma in the 18th over, it was all curtains for Lions who ended their innings on 139 for 6.

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