Inzamam leads Badshahs to victory
Inzamam-ul-Haq was the hero for the Lahore Badshahs hitting 62 to lead them to a 6 wicket victory over the Chennai Superstars in the first of the ICL semi finals.
In the end it was the Lahore Badshahs who proved their might with a comprehensive 6 wicket victory over the talented Chennai Superstars, to storm into their second straight ICL finals. Inzamam Ul Haq was declared man of the match for his brilliant half century.
Earlier in the evening Inzamam, won the toss & choose to field first. The Chennai’s formidable opening combination of Vignesh & Harvey was off to a busy start till the quick Sami castled the dangerous Vignesh for 6 in the 3rd over. Harvey was taking over from his brilliant innings of the previous night, playing some breathtaking strokes all across the park.
At the end of the 5th over Chennai Superstars were placed at 49/1.
Inzamam brought on his inform bowler Rana Naved in the 6th over who struck immediately with the big wicket of Harvey, out for well made 29 off 21 balls; including 5 hits to the boundary.
Arnold took over the batting mantel & in company of Badani put on a 33 run partnership for the third wicket, till the wily Saqlain bamboozled him with his new mystery ball “ The Jalebi”, for the second time in two consecutive days. The half way mark of their innings had the Chennai side placed at 86/3.
The crucial middle overs had the backbone of the Chennai batting Badani & Sathish battling it out in the middle. Both batsmen were looking in great touch countering the formidable Lahore bowling to take the score to 133/3 at the 15th over mark. Both batsmen brought about the fifty partnership off only 34 balls in the 16th over, till Badani was scalped by Saqlain in the same over for a well made 37 runs.
A lot depended on the prodigal Sathish who was playing another fighting innings for the second consecutive day; displaying his humongous talent against one of the craftiest bowling machinery of the world. Nazir however had other ideas scalping the talented Chennai lad in the 18th over.
Sathish’s cameo was worth 37 runs off only 28 balls, laced with five fours. Chennai finally folded their innings on a healthy 165/7 in their allotted 20 overs. For the Lahore side Naved with 3/30 & Saqlain with 2/26 emerged as the most successful bowlers.
The Chennai side was looking determined to defend their average total. Jesuraj struck early packing back the dangerous Imran Nazir in the 2nd over to leave the Lahore side at 15/1. Nazir’s wicket however had no effect on the batting approach of the mighty Lahore Badshahs, with Rana Naved & Farhat racing off to 43/1 at the end of 4 overs. Naved got out to a soft dismissal at in the 5th over to leave the Lahore score card reading 47/2.
Farhat took over the batting mantel racing off to 40 off only 20 balls in only the 7th over of the game. Just when it seemed that Farhat was running away with the match, Sathish struck his second blow of the match with the wicket of Farhat, out for a well made 46 off only 24 balls; including 5 fours and 3 mighty sixes.
The 10 over mark had the game fascinatingly poised at the Lahore score of 85/3 needing another 81 runs off 60 balls & their most experienced batsmen Mohammad Yousuf & Inzamam holding fort in the center.
The great Inzamam was just proving his batting prowess, playing a clinical knock to take the score to 130 /3 putting the Lahore Badshahs in the front at the end of the 15th over in company of Mohammad Yousuf. Inzamam brought his second ICL fifty in the 17th over coming off only 28 balls; laced with 6 fours and 2 sixes.
In the end a clinical 87 run partnership for the forth wicket, powered by a 62 run knock from the Lahore skipper Inzamam saw the Lahore Badshahs romp home to a 6 wicket victory in the 19th over.