Heroes win semi final thriller
The Hyderabad Heroes defeated Chennai Superstars by four runs in an exciting finish with five balls left and qualified for the final of the Indian Cricket League.
It was expected to be a close encounter, especially as it involved two of the best Indian sides in the tournament, hosts Hyderabad Heroes, who had the impressive record of not having lost single match at home and Chennai Superstars, the defending Champions looking to win their third consecutive title on the ICL platform.
In the end it was the Hyderabad Heroes who won the close match by 4 runs
At the toss Jeff Dujon predicted a track with consistent bounce expected to assist the spinners as the match progressed. Chris Harris won the toss and elected to bat. The Heroes came out to bat with their two inform stalwarts Maher & Razzaq. The Superstars new ball bowlers after a few nervous wides, soon settled into a disciplined line & were rewarded in the 4th over, when Vignesh castled the mainstay of the Heroes batting line Maher, for only 2, reducing the Heroes to 16/1 in the 4th over.
The run out of the dangerous Razzaq on 14 had the heroes in a bit of a bother at 23/2. At the end of the 5th over the Heroes were delicately placed at 24/2. At the half way mark of their innings the Heroes were held back to a modest 57/2 by some great bowling from the superstars.
Two big sixes from the bat of Rayudu, off Arnold in the 11th over helped the Heroes break the shackles to a little extent. However the Superstars spin spearhead, Syed got into the act right away getting Rayudu's wicket for 25 & ending the dangerous partnership developing between Rayudu & Boje.
At the end of the 15th over the Heroes were placed at 107/4 with Boje holding the key from the Heroes' perspective. Boje's however was done in by a slower one from (the Bald Assassin) Thiru kumaran, for a well made 47 in the 17th over. A top class effort in the field from the defending champions prevented any major onslaught from the Heroes in the last 5 overs & they were finally restricted to 147/6 in their allotted 20overs.
In reply the Superstars came in with their tested explosive combination of Harvey & Vignesh. However the combination did not get off to a good start with Vignesh sent back by Razzaq without troubling the scorers. Kemp castled Harvey in the 2nd over to put the defending champions in deep trouble at 4/2. At the end of the 4th over the Superstars were placed at 22/2 with Law & Arnold stuck in the repair act.
However with Arnold's wicket in the very next over the Superstars were on the back foot at 23/3. By the 9th over the Superstars were placed at 48/4 needing another 100 off 66balls at a challenging rate of 9 runs per over & 6 wickets in hand. Badani was playing a fighting innings and with 3 boundaries in the 14th over off Reddy, he took the Superstars to 91/5 brining the game alive.
The 100 for the superstars came in the 15thover with Badani & Sathish building useful partnership. The old fox Harris, got into the act getting Badani's wicket for a well made 50 in the 16th over. With four overs to go the match was set to go down to the wire with Superstars needing 43 runs off 24 balls at 10.8 runs per over. It went down to the last over with Syed holding the key & the Superstars needing 12 runs off 6balls and 3 wickets in hand.
With two wickets of the first 2 balls the pendulum was swung in favor of the Heroes, & in the end the Heroes came out tops in this thriller by 4 runs.