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Heroes clinch ICL Championship

The Hyderabad Heroes clinched the ICL 20s Grand Championship in dramtic fashion by beating the Lahore Badshahs 3-0 in a bowl off to win the best of 3 series 2-0.

The packed house at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium in Hyderabad saw an exciting and nail-biting finish to the Edelweiss 20s Challenge as the Hyderabad Heroes won the second finals in a bowl out 3-0 after the match was tied to defeat the Lahore Badshahs and to be crowned the champions in the second edition of the ICL tournament.

Nicky Boje, IS Reddy and skipper Chris Harris hit the mark for the Heroes, while A Absolem was the sole Hyderabad bowler to miss the target. However, all the three Badshahs bowlers -- Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Shahid Nazir and Naved Latif who went first for their team missed the target, as the team from Pakistan, who had won all their league games had to be content with finishing runner-up in their debut appearance in the Indian Cricket League.

For the Heroes, it was a complete turnaround of fortunes after they were whipped by the Badshahs in their first match of the tournament. To go back in the past, the Badshahs had bundled out the Heroes for a platry 86 and then chased down the runs for the loss of only one wicket and with 62 balls to spare.

The Heroes, then lifted themselves up, as they finished second in the points table after the league stage before they held their nerve in the semi-finals against Chennai Superstars and then in both the finals to emerge deserving champions in the Edelweiss 20s Challenge. The Heroes had won the first final at Panchkula on Friday night by six runs.

Coming back to tonight's match, Lahore Badshahs made 130 for 9 in their allotted 20 overs batting first, and then bowled out Hyderabad Heroes for 130 in 19.4 overs.

The Heroes needed 11 runs to win with two wickets in hand off the last over of the match bowled by Naved-ul-Hasan, and he bowled a couple of no-balls and a wide as the target was reduced to five runs in five balls. However, Absolem was run out with the scores level and three balls left; Naved-ul-Hasan then bowled the perfect yorker to clean up No 11 IS Reddy to force a bowlout as he finished the match with figures of 3.4-0-22-5.

Ambati Rayudu, the Heroes' No 3 batsman was left stranded on 46 not out, as wickets fell all around him towards the ending stages of the innings. Jimmy Maher and Abdul Razzaq, who scored 19 each, gave a steady start to the innings, but after their dismissals, it was Rayudu who held the innings together.

His effort almost paid off as the Heroes were 106 for 4 at the start of the 18th over, but were reduced to 108 for 7 by the end of that over as Naved-ul-Hasan dismissed Stuart Binny, Anirudh Singh and Harris in the space of five balls, to infuse life into the match, and then he played a key role in getting the match to the bowl-out. Naved-ul-Hasan got good support from Mushtaq Ahmed (2-19) and Shahid Nazir (1-28) as they defended their team's total.

source - cricket20.co.uk
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