Sathish heroics not enough for Superstars
Rajagopal Sathish's 38 ball 76 was not enough for the Chennai Superstars as they failed to chase down 212 losing by 13 runs to the Lahore Badshahs.
The 36th & final league match of the ICL 20s Indian Championship featured the clash of the titans Chennai Superstars &
Lahore Badshahs in a crucial encounter, having a major saying in the final standings on points table and deciding factor for the semi final spots in the knock out stage.
In the end a brilliant batting display from both sides that saw more than 400 runs scored in only 40 overs, saw the Lahore side come out tops by a narrow margin of 13 runs & setting up a repeat match between the two sides in the much anticipated 1st semi final tomorrow. Imran Farhat & Rana Naved were declared joint man of the match.
Earlier in the evening Stuart Law, won the toss and elected to field, taking the due factor into consideration; expected to play a major role in the later part of the match. The mighty Lahore Badshahs opened with the world record holders Farhat & Nazir who showed their aggressive intent right away taking the score to 23 for no loss at the end of the third over.
Nazir was especially in a dangerous mood hitting two big sixes over extra cover off Jesuraj to race off to a personal score of 33 off just 15 balls, at the fourth over stage. The fifty partnership between the two magnificent openers came about in only 29 balls enthralling a capacity packed Sardar Patel Stadium.
The high octane partnership worth 76 runs finally came to an end in the 8th over when a direct hit by Hayward, found the dangerous Imran Nazir short of his ground, out for an attacking knock of 44 runs, coming off only 23 balls including 4 fours and equal number of sixes.
Stuart law tried to stop the batting juggernaut by introducing his premiere spinner Syed Mohammed with little effect, as there was just no stopping of the flow of runs. The half way mark of their innings had the Lahore Badshahs enthralling over 52,000 fans; placed handsomely at 107/1.
Farhat brought his third ICL fifty in only the 12th over coming off only 32 balls. Stuart law brought back his medium pacer Jesuraj in the 14th over who brought curtains on the magnificent Farhat innings of 67 runs, coming off only 38 balls, studded with 8 fours and 3 sixes.
With 5 overs to go the Lahore side was brilliantly placed for the final onslaught at 144/3 & the two legendary campaigners Inzamam & Mohammad Yousuf holding the batting mantel. Both the legends did not disappoint toying around with the otherwise disciplined Chennai bowling, displaying a wonderful bating exhibition worth a 64 runs partnership for the fourth wicket.
In the end a clinical batting performance studded with 21 fours & 13 sixes; saw the mighty Lahore Badshahs post Chennai Superstars a formidable target of 212.
The Chennai chase started with their formidable opening combination of Vignesh & Harvey, who countered the formidable Lahore new ball bowlers; keeping their side in hunt at 35 for no loss at the end of the first three overs. Azhar Mahmood struck the first blow scalping the highest ICL run getter of all times G Vignesh, in the 4th over.
The talented Ian Harvey was at his freakish best taking the attack to one of the best bowling attacks in the world, racing to 38 off 23 deliveries; making the match a fascinating cricket contest at the Chennai score of 70/1 at the 6 over mark. Harvey brought about his sparkling half century off just 27 balls; peppered with 4 fours and same number of sixes. However a shot too many cut short his brilliant innings in the 7th over at his personal score of 54.
Inzamam introduced his premiere spinner Saqlain Mushtaq in the crucial 8th over who struck immediately with his newly Tony Greig-christened mystery ball” The jalebi” to fox the experienced Arnold for only 7 runs against his name. the 10 over mark of their innings had the Chennai Superstars right in hunt of the formidable target placed at 101/3; needing another 111 runs off 60 balls & the prodigal Sathish & Badani holding fort for the former champions.
The talented Sathish was just showing why he is rated so highly by the pundits plundering 17 runs off Tahir Mughal’s 13th over to precursor one of the greatest T20 games of all time. The Lahore bowling spearhead Shahid Nazir came back for a second spell in the 14th over and struck two blows in form of Badani & Stuart Law’s wicket to take the Badshahs on top for the first time in the filed at the Chennai score of 138/5.
Rana Naved produced two unplayable swinging deliveries to pack off the Chennai lower middle order in form of Hemanth Kumar & Syed Mohammed to leave the Chennai chase in absolute tatters at 141/7 in the 15th over. Rana Naved was working a brilliant spell of pace bowling picking up his fourth scalp of the match castling Tamil Kumaran to leave Chennai all but out at 153/9 in the 17th over.
The prodigal Sathish was fighting a lone battle scoring his brilliant fifty of only 30 balls in the 18th over. Sathish was not done and destroyed Azhar Mahmood’s penultimate over, to take the score 180/9 with one over to go. In the end powered by a brilliant unbeaten knock 76 from Sathish saw the courageous Chennai side fall short of the target by only 13 runs.