Hyderabad come up short in run chase
The 26th match of the ICL20s Indian Championship featured defending champions Hyderabad Heroes; take on Delhi Giants at the Tau Devi Lal stadium Panchkula.
In the end it was a classic cricket encounter that saw some great cricket from both sides; ending with the Delhi giants scamper home with a one run victory. Abbas Ali declared man of the match for his fighting half century.
Earlier in the evening Marvan Atapattu won the toss and elected to bat. Delhi got off to a shaky start with Sahabuddin packing back the dangerous Mishra in the 2nd over & scorecard reading 7/1. The sharp fielding of the defending Champions was on full view with a Rayudu pick up & throw, finding Gunawardene short of his ground; bringing curtains on what looked like a promising knock of 17 runs off 10 balls, including two fours and one mighty six. At the end of the 5th over Delhi Giants were placed precariously at 31/2.
Harris brought on his premier spinner Nicky Boje in the 7th over who struck immediately castling the opposing skipper Atapattu to leave the Delhi side in serious trouble at 43/3. The half way mark of their innings had the Delhi side placed at 61/3 and the pedigreed Abbas Ali holding the batting mantel for the team representing the capital region territory.
Abbas was playing a fighting knock against some tight bowling showing why he is today recognized as one of the best sheath anchor batsmen in the ICL. Just when the Delhi Giants were gaining some momentum Harris struck in the 14th over, with the wicket of Benkenstein, ending the 46 runs partnership between Abbas & Benkenstein for the 4th wicket.
The dashing south paw Abbas Ali brought his fourth ICL fifty in the 16th over, coming off 35 balls and laced with eight wonderful boundaries. Abbas Aliís fighting knock of 53 came to an end in the 17th over, giving Nicky Boje his second scalp of the match.
A lovely cameo of 28 off 18 balls from the combative Nixon saw the Delhi side set Hyderabad a competitive target of 145. For the Hyderabad side it was again their slow bowlers to come out tops with Boje, Harris and Reddy who ended with 2 wickets a piece.
The Hyderabad chase had to counter a fiery Shane Bond who struck early packing back the batting mainstay Jimmy Maher in the 3rd over at the Hyderabad score of 10. Bond was working some serious pace displaying some great pace bowling and in turn restricting the Hyderabad total at 21/1 at the 5 over mark.
Taduri Sudhindra was working as the prefect foil at the other end troubling the batsmen with his controlled swing bowling.
The 8th over mark had the Hyderabad batting failing to get off to any momentum restricted at 36/1 needing another 109 runs off 12 overs at a required run rate of over 9 runs per over. Razzaq and the prodigal Rayudu were working on fighting partnership in the middle making it a fascinating contest between bat & ball.
The half way stage of the Hyderabad innings had the defending champions needing 90 runs off 60 balls and 9 wickets in hand. The laborious fifty partnership for the 2nd wicket came off 48 balls in the 11th over, fore looking a close encounter on hand.
However the two back to back wickets of Rayudu & Razzaq had the Delhi side right on top in the 12th over with the Hyderabad scorecard reading 75/3 at that stage of the match. With 5 overs to go the defending champions had their task cut out at 99/4 needing another 46 runs off 30 balls & the Binny-Boje combination battling it out in the middle.
The Delhi side was sharp in the field, evoking the third run out of the innings in form of the dangerous Boje to reduce the Hyderabad Heroes to 107/5 in the 16th over. The 4th run out brought to an end the promising innings from Stuart Binny, giving the Delhi Giants a clear sniff to a big upset victory. Binnyís innings was worth 21 runs off 16 balls including 2 fours and 1 six.
A crucial 18th over costing just four runs from the young Ali Murtaza had the Hyderabad Heroes needing 27 runs at the penultimate over stage. The enthralling encounter went to the last over with Hyderabad needing 16 runs and Harris & Anirudh holding the key. A six by the talented Anirudh Singh had the match placed at 6 runs needed off last ball.
A four by Anirudh Singh saw the defending champions fall short of the target by only a solitary run.