Heroes win tense semi final thriller
The Hyderabad Heroes beat the Royal Bengal Tigers by 3 wickets in a tense semi final thriller to seal their place in the best of three ICL Twenty20 Final which starts on Thursday.
In the end it was a cliff hanger that swung both ways right till the very end; saw the defending champions scamper home in a fascinating cricket encounter by 3 wickets in the final over. Stuart Binny was declared man of the match for brilliant cameo of 45.
Earlier in the evening Chris Harris, won the toss and elected to field, taking the due factor into consideration. It was a disastrous start for the Royal Bengal Tigers with Sahabuddin striking early, packing back the inform Dasgupta in the 2nd over. A terrible mix- up in the middle found the highest run getter Hamish Marshall short of his ground, to leave Bengal in further deep trouble at 7/2.
McMillan’s wicket in the 5th over had a gloomy look in the Bengal dugout. Klusener was joined by Rohan Gavaskar who got into the resurrection act brining the Bengal fifty in the 10th over. The half way mark of their innings had the Bengal side placed at 56/3 with the legendary Zulu just starting to look good in the middle.
The fifty partnership between the two experienced campaigners came in the 11th over, partially successful in the resurrection act. Gavaskar soon took over the batting mantel countering the famed spin attack of the Hyderabad Heroes racing away to 41 off 27 balls in only the 14th over. A straight six off Binny in the 15th over brought about Klusener fourth ICL fifty, coming off 41 balls & laced with 2 fours & three sixes.
The 15th over mark has the Royal Bengal Tigers right back in the game at 105/3 & both batsmen looking dangerous in the middle. Rohan followed suit bringing his fighting fifty in the 17th over off only 35 balls studded with 6 fours and 2 sixes.
It was vintage batting from both experienced playing some breathtaking strokes powering the score to 144 at the end of the 18th over. The two batsmen scored a record partnership of 145 runs to power Royal Bengal Tiger to 161/4 in their allotted 20 overs. The highlight of the innings was brilliant knocks of 78 runs & 74 runs from Klusener & Gavaskar respectively.
The Hyderabad chase got off to a solid start with Khaleel taking the initiative & powering the score to 28 for no loss at the end of the 3rd over. It was sensible batting from both openers Khaleel & Maher; playing percentage strokes, taking the score to 43 for no loss at the end of the fifth over.
An eventful 6th over from Klusener packed back both openers to bring the Bengal Tigers right back in the game at 48/2. The stage was set for the prodigal Rayudu & Razzaq who avoided any further hiccups to take the score to 85/2 at the half way mark of the Hyderabad innings, needing another 77 runs off 60 balls.
Just when Hyderabad Heroes were taking the upper hand Shiv Sagar Singh, struck the big blow with the wicket of Rayudu to bring Bengal right backing the game in the 11th over. McMillan introduced his premiere spinner Chandana in the 12th over who made full use of the turning tack, packing back the dangerous Razzaq to leave the Hyderabad chase in a bit of a bother at 89/4 & making the match a intriguing cricket encounter.
Shiv Sagar Singh was instrumental in bringing back the Bengal Tigers back in the game with his crucial spell that ended in the 13th over with impressive figures of 1/25 in 4 overs.
The last five overs of the match had the match fascinatingly poised at the Hyderabad score 114/4, needing another 48 runs from 30 balls. Chandana trapped the dangerous Boje for 11 in the 16th over to swing the pendulum backing favor of the Royal Bengal Tigers. Stuart Binny however struck two sixes off the same over to bring the defending champions right backing the nerve wracking encounter.
Binny was playing a brilliant cameo racing off 37 off 21 balls to take the Hyderabad to 147/5 at the penultimate over stage; needing 15 runs off 12 balls. The twists & turns were just not over with Binny getting out for a brilliant 45 of the last ball of the penultimate over; taking the match to the final over with the defending champions needing 6 runs off the last over.
In the end it was a Chris Harris four of the third ball of the last over that saw Hyderabad scamper home to a 3 wicket victory.