McMillan's knock lights up LB stadium
Royal Bengal's skipper Craig McMillan rained boundaries in his innings of 69 runs to lead the Tigers to a 35 run victory over the Delhi Giants in Hyderabad.
Both sides came into the match having won their respective tournament openers. In the end it was the in form Royal Bengal Tigers who outplayed their opponents in all departments of the game to register their second straight win of the tournament. Craig McMillan was declared man of the match for his brilliant innings of 69 off 40 balls.
Earlier in the evening McMillan won the toss and elected to bat, wanting to take advantage of the batting friendly wicket & putting up a good total upfront. The Tigers opened with their in-form opening combination of Marshall and Dasgupta. The 4th over stage saw the openers put the Tigers in the drivers' seat at 33 for no loss.
Trying to steal a single of a misfiled, found the inform Hamish Marshal short of his crease, packed back to the Tigers dugout cutting short his promising innings of 23 off 13 balls. Superstar Bond struck again in the same over, getting the prodigal Jhunjhunwala for a duck to leave the Tigers in bit of both at 37/2 in the 5th over.
The fall of the 2nd wicket brought the experienced McMillan to the middle, getting into the repair act right away in company of Dasgupta. The 29 run partnership between the two was ended when the wily Ali Murtaza castled Dasgupta in the 9th over, stealing the initiative right back for the Giants. McMillan was not perturbed by the fall of wickets and by the 11th over, took the Tigers on a solid 87/3.
McMillan was playing a skippers knock & in company of the dangerous Klusener, set the Tigers for the perfect onslaught with five overs to go at 114/3. McMillan scored 22 runs of the 16th over from Bali before falling off the fifth ball of the same over, to end his brilliant innings of 69 off 40 balls; including 4 massive sixes and seven fours. A 22 off 23 balls from the great Zulu saw the Tigers fold their innings at a very competitive 171/7 in their allotted 20 overs.
The Giants chase got off to a shaky start with Tarafdar inducing a false stroke from the experienced Benkenstein, to get the Tigers their first break in the 3rd over on the Giants score of 14. Giants skipper Atapattu promoted himself up the order and started his innings on a promising note with three classical fours. After 6 overs the Tigers, still had the upper hand restricting the Giants at 35/1.
With 10 overs to go Giants were placed at 64/2 needing another 108 runs at nearly 11 runs per over and their two major batting mainstays Abbas Ali & Marvan Atapattu battling it out in the middle. A brilliant catch by Diwakar off Adams saw the back of the pedigreed Abbas to leave the Giants in deep trouble at 71/3 in the 11th over. Atapttu’s wicket in form of a stumping by Dasgupta off Upul Chandana had the Tigers sniffing victory at the 12th over stage.
Upul was spot on with his leg spinners getting his second dismissal of the match sending back the dangerous Nixon cheaply for five. Some tight bowling & a mounting run rate was making the chase an uphill task for the remaining Giants batsmen, falling well short of the target by35 runs, handing the Tigers their second straight win of the tournament.