Heroes come out on top
The Hyderabad Heroes lead by Abdul Razzaq who scored 78 runs clinched second place in the groups stages thanks to a 7 run victory over the Mumbai Champs.
It was an important match for the hosts, who wanted to maintain their stupendous record at home before the semi final stage. In the end, the Heroes maintained their formidable record at home scoring their 5th straight win at home over the Mumbai Champs by 7 runs.
Pat Symcox predicted a rough surface in his pitch report, excepting the track to support the spinners. Chris Harris won the toss and elected to bat. With 3 fours off Van der Wath in the first over, the Heroes mainstay Maher set the tone for the match.
At the end of the 5th over, the Heroes were placed at 35/1 with Van der Wath sending back the dangerous Maher for 26. The spin pair for the Champs in Yadav & Iyer, was doing a good job in containing the batsmen. At the half way mark of their innings, the Heroes were placed at a modest 58/1.
Razzaq & Rayudu were working a good partnership of over 55 runs taking the score to 98/1 at the end of the 14th over. Razzaq was carrying out carnage on the Mumbai bowlers and brought about his fifty with a lovely boundary in the 15th over. The partnership was going strong with both the batsmen playing shots all across the ground & brining their century stand off only 68 balls in the 16th over. Rayudu brought his fifty with a boundary to fine leg in the 17th over.
With three overs to go, the Heroes were all set for a big onslaught placed handsomely at 153/1. The partnership finally came to an end by a spectacular catch by Tino Best to send Rayudu back to the dugout for a well made 55. The onslaught finally resulted in the Heroes getting a formidable 176/2 in their allotted 20overs.
In reply, the Champs came out with a positive intent with Jadhav going after Kemp in the second over with two big hits to the boundary. However, Kemp had the last laugh sending Paul back to the dugout for 3. Razzaq came to the party with the ball, getting Jadhav nick one to the keeper leaving the Champs in a bit of bother at 22/2. The young Patil was carrying his good form in the tournament into this match taking his more formidable opponents to the cleaners with some big hit to the boundary
At the end of the 5th over, the Champs were placed at 52/2 scoring at over 10 runs per over. A 50 run partnership of only 33 balls, building between Morris & Patil kept Mumbai right in the hunt to achieve the mammoth target of 177 at the 8th over mark. At the half way mark, the Champs needed 86 runs off 60 balls with 8 wickets in hand. Just when Patil was running away with the match, Harris trapped the young Mumbai dynamite lbw for a well made 51 in the 11th over.
Reddy and Boje were turning in some good economical overs in the crucial middle stage of the Champs innings to put some serious pressure on the batsmen, soon the batsmen succumbed under pressure and the Champs were reduced to 110/5 at the end of the 14th over. With 3 overs to go the Champs needed 48 off 18 balls at a humongous 16 runs per over.
Morris took the initiative and with some lusty blows took the match right down to the last over, with the Champs needing 18 runs off 6 balls. In the end the Champs fell short in their valiant run chase by only 7 runs.