Heroes clinch Game 1 thriller
The Lahore Badshahs unbeaten run was brought to a dramatic end by the Hyderabad Heroes in a thrilling final which went down to the last ball.
The 1st final of the Edelweiss 20s Challenge featured the invincible Lahore Badshahs, taking on the most improved Indian side Hyderabad Heroes, at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium, Sector-3, Panchkula. A high octane encounter was on cards between the 3rd ranked team in the world (Batercard power rankings), Lahore Badshahs & the Heroes, a side on the ascendancy mode.
In the end it was the Heroes who handed the Lahore Badshahs their first defeat by 6 runs.
The experts analyzed the track to be a sporting one all set to produce a cracking game of cricket. Chris Harris won the toss and elected to bat. The Heroes started the campaign for their final frontier with their left-right combination of Maher & Razzaq. It was a positive start with Razzaq plying his trade for the Heroes, taking on his compatriots in the Badshahs team. At the end of the 4th over the Heroes were off to a flier at 31 for no loss.
Inzamam brought on Rana Naved as first change & he responded immediately getting the dangerous Razzaq for 21 in the 6th over. At the half way mark of their innings, the Heroes were placed at 67/2. The wily Mushtaq & Shahid Nazir were turning in some tight bowling in the crucial middle overs drying up the boundaries.
At the ends of the 15th over the Heroes were working hard for their runs at 90/2, with Kemp & Rayudu holding fort for the Hyderabad side. Rayudu was taking the initiative & played some lovely strokes to break the shackles. The partnership between Rayudu & Kemp came to an end in the 18thover when the impressive Rana Naved castled Kemp leaving the Heroes score at 117/3.
A brilliant piece of fielding from Inzamam caught Rayudu short of his ground, run out for a well made 44. In the end the Badshahs formidable bowling line restricted the Heroes to 143/6 in their allotted 20 overs, despite an eventful last over which resulted in two free hits & cost 17 runs.
The Badshahs had an indifferent start with Abdul Razzaq packing back the dangerous Nazir cheaply for 5. It was working out to be a fascinating contest between bat & ball with both Kemp & Razzaq bowling a disciplined line & length, not allowing the Badshahs any freedom to play their strokes. At the end of the 5th over the Badshahs were delicately placed at 22/1. Binny got the big break with Hasan Raza's wicket leaving the Badshahs in a lot of trouble at 3/36 in the 8th over.
The Badshahs were feeling the pressure of the big final & matters were not helped by some great bowling from Binny & Boje. At the halfway mark of their innings the Badshahs were facing a daunting task at 50/4, needing another 94 runs at nearly 10 runs per over & their top four batsmen back in the dugout.
The Heroes were continuing their great work in the field right through the middle overs, drying the runs for the Badshahs' middle order. With 5 overs to go the Badshahs needed 57off 30 balls at around 12runs per over & Azhar Mahmood holding the key.
It was turning out to be another close match with Taufeeq Umar & Mahmood building up a good partnership needing 37 to win of the last 3 overs. Just when Mahmood was taking away the match with his little cameo, a direct hit from Jimmy Maher sent him back to the dugout for a wonderful 34, brining the Heroes right back in contention.
It went down to the last over from Razzaq with the Badshahs needing 12 runs off 6 balls. It was an eventful over with wides, run-outs & wickets in the end the Heroes won the nail bitter 6 runs.