India see off Pakistan in thriller
The ICL India XI caused a major upset by beating the ICL Pakistan XI by 4 wickets in a thrilling game at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium in Hyderabad to bring themselves right back into the tournament.
Inzamam won the toss and elected to bat. The Pakistanis opened with their flamboyant combination of Razzaq & Nazir. Razzaq got into the act right away taking 22runs off a wayward Vignesh over. At the end of3 overs the Pakistani side was off to a flier placed handsomely at 36 for no loss.
Sathish brought on Thiru Kumaran in the 4th over who responded immediately with the first breakthrough in form of Razzaq's wicket. The introduction of Ali Murtaza in the seventh over paid dividends immediately in form of Imran Farhat's wicket. At the end of the 7th over the Pakistanis were placed at 57/2.
Sathish introduced spin from both ends in form of Murtaza & Syed which resulted in drying of runs from the Pakistani bats. At the half way stage of their innings the Pakistanis were comfortably placed at 79/2. Nazir was gong great guns in the middle overs keeping the momentum of the Pakistani innings going.
The Chennai lad Syed was troubling the great Inzi with his slow left arm spin and finally got his prized scalp when Inzi nicked one to the keeper in the 15th over. With 5 overs to go the Pakistani side was all set for the onslaught, placed handsomely at 113/4.
Kumaran came for his second spell in the 16th over & got the wicket of the dangerous Nazir for a well made 56. Some disciplined bowling from Murtaza and Kumaran in the final overs, assisted by some sharp fielding saw the Pakistani side restricted 152/8 in their allotted 20overs.
In reply the Indians came out with the explosive Vignesh & Khaleel to open the innings. The move was moderately successful till Vignesh went for a shot too many, falling to the experienced Razzaq, for an entertaining cameo of 18. At the end of 5 overs the Indians were right on target at 43/1. A boundary down the third man by Khaleel brought on the Indian 50 in the 6th over. The young wicketkeeper was making most of the opportunity, batting sensibly in company of the classy Jhunjhunwala.
Both the young batsmen were playing sensibly taking quick single with the odd boundary and brought on the fifty partnerships off only 41 balls in the 10th over. At the halfway mark of their innings the ICL India side was very well placed at 83/1, needing 70 more runs of 60 balls & nine wickets in hand. It finally took the experienced Arshad Khan to break the lovely partnership in form of Jhunjhunwala's wicket in the 11th over, for a well made 23.
Khaleel brought up his maiden fifty off only 39 balls in the 12th over. An unfortunate run out of the inform TP Singh, backing too far at the non striker end brought the Pakistani side back into the game at the Indian score of 103/3 in the 13th over. Some smart out- fielding from Abdul Razzaq brought an end to Khaleel's brilliant innings of 63 in the 15th over. With 5 overs to go the match was in India's control, needing 34 runs 30 balls with 6 wickets in hand.
With 2 overs to go the ICL- Indians needed 16 runs & 5 wickets in hand. In the end some power hitting by captain Sathish helped the ICL Indians score a magnificent victory by 4 wickets.