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Tigers squash Lions by 41 runs

A shimmering evening of colours, live music and entertaining cricket was staged once again for a jam-packed Sunday evening audience here in the Tau Lal Devi Stadium.

The second match of the evening was almost a carbon copy of yesterday’s match between the Mumbai Champs and the Hyderabad Heroes. The Chandigarh Lions faltered under the lights, batting second and were shot out for a meager 81 runs. The Kolkata Tigers registered their first victory of the tournament and the outcome meant that all six teams excluding the Mumbai Champs were now amongst the points.

Darren Maddy (4/6) for his incredible spell of medium pace bowling was adjudged the player of the match. The England all-rounder found a spring in his stride when he gained plenty of assistance from the pitch. He swung the ball prodigiously and picked up the prized wickets of Imran Farhat (23) and Chris Cairns.

Imran Farhat continued from where he left off two nights ago, timing the ball beautifully and bringing out his complete repertoire of strokes to glee the crowd in Panchkula. His wicket was the turning point of the match – none of the Lions’ middle order batsmen threatened the scorers and it was all too easy for the Tigers in the end.

Tigers’ wicket-keeper batsman Deep Dasgupta had a tremendous match behind the stumps, claiming two stumpings and good catch to dismiss Amit Uniyal. Fast bowler Nantie Hayward (1/14) provided a good start to Craig McMillan’s team by trapping Hamish Marshall (7) LBW early in the innings.

Imran Farhat and Tejinder Pal Singh (15) were the only two batsmen who reached double figures for the Chandigarh Lions. The fans seemed to have a party, despite their ‘technical home team’ suffering a heavy loss.

Chris Cairns would probably be repentant about the fact that his team conceded as many as 15 extras during the first innings. There was a lack of discipline in their bowling effort but the fielding was quite immaculate. Especially, New Zealander Hamish Marshall’s effort to send Shiv Sagar Singh back to the pavilion was a terrific one.

Lance Klusener (12) struck three back-to-back boundaries in the very first over and got the crowd to its feet before receiving an almost unplayable, lively outswinger from former South African teammate Andrew Hall, a delivery that uprooted Klusener’s middle and off stumps.

Craig McMillan (20) top scored for the Tigers and was well supported by Maddy (19), Chandana (12) and four others who got to double figures. A total of 124 didn’t look daunting whatsoever but the conditions and the pitch had their say and the pattern of the tournament has been to win the toss and bat first, especially under lights.

Rajesh Sharma (3/23) and Daryl Tuffey (2/8) were the pick of the bowlers for the Chandigarh Lions. Tuffey removed Jhunjhunwala (11) and Das (0) in the space of three deliveries and gave his team the much needed initial thrust.

The Tigers have made a tremendous comeback in the ICL 20:20 Indian Championship with a compelling victory over the Chandigarh Lions and will enjoy a break of five days before going up against the Delhi Jets on Saturday, the 8th of December.

Chandigarh Lions, on the other hand, will have to regroup and get their act together before a crucial game on Wednesday, December 5, against Hyderabad Heroes, led by the in-form Inzamam-ul-Haq.

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