Harvey stars in Chennai victory
The Chennai Superstars, who had lost all their previous four ICL encounters against the Hyderabad Heroes came out on top and registered a 18-run victory over the Heroes in the ICL 20s Indian Championship at the Sardar Patel stadium.
Chennai Superstars elected to bat and Ian Harvey and Ganapathi Vignesh got the team off to a flier, brining up the fifty in only the 5th over with a brilliant straight six by Harvey off Stuart Binny.
Man of the match Harvey took the attack to the arch-rivals blasting 29 runs off Binny’s fifth over.
But then skipper Chris Harris introduced his young spinner I.S. Reddy and he struck immediately to get rid of Harvey for a well made 49. Harvey’s batting blast included three boundaries and five mighty sixes and came off only 21 balls.
Vignesh took over the Chennai batting mantel and in company of the experienced Russel Arnold was helping the superstars score at over 10 runs per over.
Heroes’ premier spinner Nicky Boje came to their rescue, getting the prized scalp of Vignesh in the 9th over on his personal score of 32.
However, at the half way mark of their innings, the Superstars were handsomely placed at 96-2, right on track for a big score.
But cheap dismissals of Arnold and Sathish brought the Heroes right back in the match with Chennai's scorecard reading 109-4 in the 13th over.
Lack of application compounded by some smart bowling, especially from Harris saw the Superstars loose their momentum.
Harris was turning in a fine performance with the ball for the Heroes as he picked up his third scalp of the match with the wicket of Jesuraj. Harris’ brilliant spell of 4 overs got him three wickets costing only 18 runs.
The superstars got all out for a competitive 161 in 19.3 overs.
Stuart Law employed an attacking field with two slip fielders to defend the target. The move delivered immediate result with the first breakthrough in form of the Abdul Razzaq caught by Law off the bowling of Jesuraj in the second over.
And then Shabbir struck in the third over curtailing the promising innings of James Maher (12 runs off three fours) to leave the Heroes in a bit of a bother.
The Superstars were too good in the field and a brilliant pick up and throw by Syed Mohammed, packed back the prodigal Rayudu to leave the Heroes’ chase in deep trouble at 22-3.
The seventh over stage was reading a dismal picture for the Heroes, with their top five batsmen packed back to the dugout with the scorecard reading only 52 runs.
The half way mark of their innings had the Heroes needing another 86 runs off 60 balls and Boje and skipper Harris battling it out in the middle.
The Boje-Harris partnership of 44 runs for the sixth wicket was keeping the Heroes in the hunt till the Harvey castled the opposition skipper to turn the tide back in favour of the Superstars in the 14th over.
The last five overs left the Heroes with the uphill task of needing 56 runs off 30 balls at a required run rate of 11 runs per over.
The Superstars were at their dominant best in the field not giving an inch away to the opponents, and they finally fell short of the target.