Atapattu steers Jets to 3rd place
The Delhi Jets have defeated the Kolkata Tigers to finish third in the inaugural season of the ICL Indian 20:20 Championship.
Atapattu cracked an unbeaten half-century to guide his team to victory in the 3/4 Classification Match.
Chasing Tigers' score of 141-7, Jets reached the target losing five wickets with five balls to spare. Atapattu led the charge for his team by opening the batting and ensured he stayed till the end and fittingly hit the winning runs when he sent a Shiv Sagar Singh delivery to the extra-cover boundary for the 10th four of his innings.
The former Sri Lankan skipper's 75 runs were also the highest individual score of the tournament and included two sixes besides the 10 fours. He was named the Player of the Match for his match-winning effort. This was his second award in the competition.
The Delhi Jets and Kolkata Tigers made one last appearance for the fans at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in the inaugural season of the Indian Cricket League. They will be next seen during the 50-50 over tournament in March.
Abbas Ali continued his good run with the bat by scoring a quickfire 25. The duo of Atapattu and Ali put on 57 runs for the third-wicket after losing Monish Mishra (13) and Niall O Brian (14).
Earlier, the Kolkata Tigers managed a reasonable total of 141, courtesy of a late flourish from all-rounder Shiv Sagar Singh. Craig McMillan decided to field youngsters who did not receive adequate opportunities during the previous matches of the competition.
Deep Dasgupta’s new opener partner Parviz Aziz (10) was the first to be dismissed after Atapattu won the toss and elected to insert Tigers into bat. Abishek Jhunjhunwala (1) was run-out by Sudhindra in the fifth over and Abid Nabi bowled Anshu Jain (0) with a peach to leave the Tigers reeling on 38/3.
Deep Dasgupta was eventually dismissed for 28 when he nicked a JP Yadav delivery to Dhruv Mahajan. There was a desperate need for acceleration in the scoring and some retaliation from the batsmen. Rajiv Kumar (23) and Ali Hamid (12) added 27 runs for the fifth-wicket and it appeared as if the momentum was back in the Tigers innings.
Kumar and Hamid fell in quick succession to the left-arm spin duo of Murtaza (1/18) and Bali (1/12) to add to Tigers’ woes. Shiv Sagar Singh (33 not out) and Craig McMillan (27) added 57 runs for the seventh-wicket to restore some momentum in the innings. The latter came into bat at number eight – giving his teammates adequate opportunity to consume overs.
Singh smashed two massive in his innings and thoroughly entertained the Sunday afternoon audience that had gathered in the stadium. McMillan was eventually run out for 27 by JP Yadav, The Tigers reached 141/7 at the close of twenty overs.