Kapali 100 not enough for Warriors
Alok Kapali was the hero for the Dhaka Warriors hitting the first ever ICL century but it still wasn't enough to stop the Warriors from losing against the Hyderabad Heroes.
The brilliant match that saw a top of a drawer cricket performance from both teams entertaining a packed stadium to an absolute cricket thriller. In the end it was the defending champions Hyderabad Heroes who snatched a victory from the jaw of defeats by a narrow margin of 4 wickets. Alok Kapali was declared Man of the Match for his brilliant century.
Earlier in the evening Warriors' skipper, Habib Ul Bashar won the toss and decided to take the first hit, wanting to take advantage of his formidable batting line up. A double strike in the very first over from Razzaq, had the Warriors on the back foot at 6/2. However, the talented Aftab Ahmed was not perturbed by the early setback and with three boundaries and a six put the Warriors right back on track at 26/2 at the end of the third over.
However, a shot too many brought the curtains on his promising innings when he was held in the deep by Boje off Binny in the 4thover. Aftab's cameo of 24 runs off 11 balls included 4 fours and 1 six. The introduction of Boje in the 7th over, delivered dividends for the Heroes in form of the fourth Warriors wicket in form of Mahbubul Karim. Boje struck again in the 9th over trapping Bashar leg before wicket to leave the Warriors in deep trouble at 57/5.
A solid fifth wicket partnership between Kapali & Ghosh took the score to 98/5 at the 13th over stage. Kapali was looking in great touch playing some aggressive cricket and brining about his fifty in 14th over off only 36 balls. Kapali was batting in the zone taking the Heroes bowling to the cleaners. At the 15th over stage, the Warriors were right back into the game at 124/5, perfectly set for the final launch in the last five overs.
It was turning into a Kapali night and he brought about the first ICL century entertaining a capacity packed LB stadium with some brilliant stroke-play. His brilliant innings of 100 came to an end in the final over and included 11 fours and five sixes. The Warriors innings finally folded at a competitive 168/9 in their allotted 20 overs.
The Warriors came out with a new plan to defend their competitive total opening their bowling in the 2nd over inform of the left arm spinner Rafique, who had the experienced left–right combination of Maher & Razzaq in a bit of a bother. Warriors tasted their first success in the field with Maher's wicket in the 3rd over off Sharif, at the Heroes score of 25.
Rafique struck the second blow getting the prodigal Rayudu cheaply for 5, in the fourth over leaving the Heroes in a bit of a bother at 34/2. Just when Razzaq was getting the upper hand for the Heroes, he was castled by Reza to bring the Warriors right back in the game at the eight over stage.
At the half way mark of their innings, Heroes were placed at 81/4 needing another 88 runs off 60 balls with 6 wickets in hand. The high octane match was seeing some great cricket produced by both sides keeping the spectators glued on the seat and a brilliant piece of fielding in the outfield, saw the end of a promising Binny innings of 30 runs in the 14th over.
The match was fascinatingly poised at the 16th over stage with Heroes needing 41 runs off 24 balls and five wickets in hand & Boje and skipper Harris holding the mantel of the Heroes chase. The Warriors out-fielding was top of the drawer and another brilliant effort saw the dangerous Boje falling short of his crease in the 18th over for a well made 31 off 32 balls. The last over left the Heroes with a daunting task off needing 13 runs off 6 balls.
Some brilliant power hitting from skipper Harris saw the Heroes win the thriller by 4 wickets. Harris's knock of 37 including 5fours and 1six sealed the fate for the Heroes.