Tuffey shines in victory for Lions
The Chandigarh Lions got the better of the Delhi Giants by 34 runs at the Tau Devi Lal Cricket Stadium to register their first win in the Indian Cricket League's Edelweiss 20s Challenge.
A grudge match of sorts between these two important north Indian city teams who have had a history of close matches in pervious editions of the competitive Indian Cricket League. The Lions came out triumphs in this big match beating the Giants by 34 runs. The promising domestic player TP Singh was declared the Man of the Match for his all round performance.
The great Jeff Thomson in his pitch report analyzed the pitch to have a good carry & true bounce, especially due to the light grass cover left by the groundsman on the pitch. Andrew Hall, who was leading the Lions side for today's big game , won the toss & elected to bat on a wicket which looked good for a big score in the region of about 200. The Lions opened with their two big international stalwarts Mathew Elliott & Lou Vincent.
Superstar Shane Bond opened the bowling for the Giants with a controlled first over costing just 4 runs. Bond was mixing his deliveries well, slipping in a few across the seam griped balls, to keep a tight leash on the Lions openers. His first two overs just cost 7 runs at a stingy economy rate of 3 runs per over. At the end of the fifth over the Lions were placed at 33 for no loss.
Vincent started opening his shoulders in the sixth over of Benkenstein, sending him to the ropes with two big hits of consecutive balls, but Dale Benkenstein got his revenge castling Lou Vincent to get the Giants their first breakthrough at the score of 44. In the 10th over Atapattu brought on his young triumph card, the left hand spinner Ali Murtaza, who responded with a tidy first over costing just 4 runs. At the halfway mark the Lions were well placed at 71/1 in the 10th over.
The impressive TP Singh got into the act hoisting a huge six over long on off the bowling of Shane Bond, who came back for a second spell in the 11th over. Murtaza Ali maintained his tight leash & got the Giants back into the match getting the wicket of the dangerous Elliott in the 12th over for 35. Some sloppy running between the wickets saw Dinesh Mongia run out at a crucial stage at the match reducing the Lions to 93/3 in the 13th over. By the 15th over some tight overs from the Giants had the Lions restricted to 108/4 with TP Singh battling it out for the Lions. The bowling from the Giants arsenal was disciplined and the boundaries hard to come by.
The 17th over proved a productive one for the Lions with Chetan Sharma going after Benkenstein hosting him for two big hits, unfortunately his mercurial innings of 21 off only 9 balls came to an end with a run-out ,resultant of some sharp out fielding from the Giants side. The Giants maintained their discipline and a superb 19th over from the quick Shane Bond resulted in only 3 runs, also resulting in the important wicket of the impressive TP Singh. The Lions finally got 153/6 in their allotted 20 overs setting a competitive target of 154 for the Giants.
In reply the Delhi Giants opened the innings with the explosive Avishka Gunawardene & Mohnish Mishra. Three wides and a boundary each from the bats of both the openers had the Giants get off to a good start of 12 for no loss at the end of the first over. Daryl Tuffey struck early getting the dangerous Gunwardene nick one into the slip cordon reducing the Giants to 12/1. Tuffey was getting some swing and a lovely in-swinger sent Mishra back into the dugout, leaving the Giants in a delicate situation at 20/2. A brilliant fielding effort from Lions wicketkeeper Sarabjeet found the inform Abbas Ali short of his ground leaving the Giants innings reeling at 29/3 in the 6th over.
Abhinav Bali joined his captain Atapattu in the middle and got into the act right away sending the impressive Tuffey for consecutive boundaries to take the Giants score to 39/3 in the 6th over. At the end of the 10th over the Giants were placed at 67/2, with both Bali & captain Attaptu battling it out in the middle. A direct hit from a Lou Vincent throw sent the Giants captain back in the dug out at a crucial stage of the innings leaving the Giants struggling at 78/4 at the end of the 12th over.
Dinesh Mongia making amends for his lackluster batting was bowing a tight line in the crucial middle overs & was rewarded with the wicket of Sudhindra leaving the Delhi Giants innings in tatters at 87/5 at the end of 14 overs. Love Ablish disciplined bowling was rewarded with the wicket of the mainstay of the Giants batting, A. Bali in the 15th over. Some great work in the field from the Lions & the mounting required run rate saw the Giants innings bundled out for 119 in the 19th over.