Superstars score comprehensive victory
The 13th match of the Edelweiss 20s Challenge featured one of the biggest matches of the tournament with defending champions Chennai Superstars taking on the formidable; Delhi Giants.
It was expected to be a great grudge match with all the North-South Indian cricket rivalry at its best.
The two teams came into this match with a history of close encounters in the earlier ICL editions, especially the close final contested by these two champion sides in the recently concluded, ICL50s. In the end the Superstars beat the Giants by 56 runs. Captain, R. Sathish was declared the man of the match for his brilliant innings of 62 off only 46 balls.
Pat Symcox in his pitch report analyzed the pitch as hard with good bounce. Atapattu won the toss and put the Superstars into bat. The Superstars opened the batting with their inform combination of Vignesh and the dashing Ian Harvey. The much anticipated battle between Harvey & Bond was right-on in the first over itself with Harvey scoring two big boundaries.
Delhi had brought on their left arm seamer Salabh Srivastava, into the playing eleven and he got off to a great start bowling Ian Harvey with a lovely in-swinging Yorker in the 2nd over. Srivastava was making the most of the opportunity, picking his second wicket in the 4th over, sending the dangerous Vignesh back in the Superstars dugout with the score reading 36/2. At the end of the 5th over the Superstars were delicately placed at 40/3 with Harvey, Vignesh & Badani back in the Chennai Superstars dugout.
At the end of the 10th over, the Superstars were placed at 78/3 with their captain Sathish & Arnold battling it out in the middle. Both of them were building a good partnership for the Chennai Side and at the end of the 14th over the Superstars were all set for the big launch at 120/3 & six overs to go. In the 17th over, it was finally the wily Murtaza who broke the partnership getting the wicket of Arnold for a well made 49 off only 40 balls.
Sathish’s magnificent innings came to an end in the 18th over after having made a magnificent 62. Some lovely acceleration from the great Michael Bevan, scoring 22 off only 9 balls, took the Superstars innings to a imposing 180/5 in their allotted 20 overs.
The Giants started on a positive note with Mohnish Mishra taking 20 runs off the 2nd over from Vignesh. At the end of the fifth over both the openers were at the crease right on target taking the score to 53 for no loss, scoring at over 10 runs per over. The Superstars got their first breakthrough at the score of 57 in the form of Gunawardene’s wicket, off the bowling off Harvey.
Thiru Kumaran the "bald assassin", who showed an indifferent form in the two previous games, got into the act right away getting 2 wickets of his first over in the form of Atapattu & Abbas Ali reducing the Giants to 64/3 in the &7th over. By the 10th over the Giants were struggling 75/4, needing another 106 runs of only 60 balls.
The pressure was getting to the lower middle order batsmen in the Giants line up and regular wickets reduced the Giants’ score to 112/6 at the end of the 15th over. In the end the some disciplined bowling from the impressive Superstars saw the Giants fall short of the target by a big margin of 56runs.