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Superstars beat Tigers by six runs

The Chennai Superstars overcame Kolkata Tigers by 6 runs on Day 2 of the ICL 20:20 Indian Championship to join Chandigarh Lions at the helm of the tournament points tally.

Shabbir Ahmed, for his two crucial wickets of Lance Klusener and Darren Maddy, was adjudged the man-of-the-match

The Tigers needed 19 runs of the very last over with Deep Dasgupta and Mihir Diwakar at the crease. They managed only a run a ball off the first four deliveries but struck two boundaries off the last two balls but it was a little too late for the Tigers. A specialist bowler in the slog overs, Ian Harvey (2/30) bowled an immaculate last over for the Stuart Law-led side.

Shabbir Ahmed, for his two crucial wickets of Lance Klusener and Darren Maddy, was adjudged the man-of-the-matchTamil Kumaran (2/23) was the other seamer who was amongst the wickets and ably supported Harvey and Shabbir. Reflecting back, the Tigers will rue the 13 extras they conceded, as compared to the 7 by the far more disciplined Superstars.

Subhomoy Das (35), Craig McMillan (25) and Abhishek Jhunjhunwala (30) were coasting at one stage and it appeared as if the match was firmly with the Tigers, until Harvey dismissed McMillan and later Kumaran dismissed Das and the dangerous Jhunjhunwala.

The biggest disappointment of the day, at least from a natural perspective was the failure of star attraction Lance Klusener, who was dismissed for a duck, opening the innings along with England opener Darren Maddy. The duo's dismissals got Stuart Law and his boys firmly in control of the match. The Superstars' fielding effort was quite splendid - probably the first glimpse of Michael Bevan's good work as coach.

In the first innings, the Chennai Superstars ended with a viable 140/5. The pitch assisted seam bowlers prodigiously in the winter conditions here in Panchkula. The Tigers needed to score at 7 runs per over but a meager start and a fiery new ball spell from Pakistani fast bowler Shabbir Ahmed (2/22) left them in totters.

Earlier, a late resurgence from Satish (25) and Sarvanan (22) took the Superstars to a respectable total, especially after the dismissals of Law, Arnold and Badani in the space of six deliveries. McMillan (2/30) and Sayed Akhlakh Ahmed (2/14) were the pick of the bowlers for the Kolkata Tigers.

In almost a replica of Delhi Jets' innings on Day 1 of the ICL 20:20 Indian Championship the Chennai Superstars suffered a similar fate - collapsing after a steady start. A faltered start was triggered by Kolkata Tigers fast bowler Sayed Akhlakh Ahmed who snapped Ian Harvey (3) and Hemant Kumar (5) within the first four overs.

Captain Stuart Law and veteran Sri Lankan batsman Russell Arnold led the Superstars' revival after the openers were dismissed cheaply and runs had completely dried up. Law (33) and Arnold (38) added 76 runs for the third-wicket and both struck one six each to bring the crowd alive. It was opposition captain Craig McMillan who provided the crucial breakthrough of Law, during the 14th over.

Arnold followed him soon, dismissed by part-time medium pacer Darren Maddy, caught by Abishek Jhunjhunwala at mid-off. Hemang Badani (3) was quick to depart, giving McMillan his second wicket. The ascendancy shifted back and forth and at the close of the innings, both teams would be reasonably happy with their performances.

Lance Klusener bowling to Stuart Law was quite a spectacle - especially every time the latter tried to heave the South African out of the park. He didn't succeed on a single occasion but did score a versatile 33 for his team.

The Superstars play their next match of the tournament against the Mumbai Champs on Monday, December 3. The Tigers will play the Chandigarh Lions tomorrow evening.

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