Heroes hold on to win last ball thriller
The 23rd match of the ICL20s Indian Championship featured defending champions Hyderabad Heroes encounter the challenge from the resurgent Ahmedabad Rockets at Tau Devi Lal stadium Gurgaon.
It was a crucial match for both the sides, wanting a win; critical for a coveted place in the semi-final of the championships.
In the end it was a disciplined effort from the Hyderabad Heroes that saw them scamper home against their opponents from Gujarat by a narrow margin of 3 runs. Ambati Rayudu was declared man of the match.
Earlier in the evening Damien Martyn, won the toss and elected to field. Jason Gillespie’s bowling prowess with the new ball was on full view ; eventually scalping the opposition sheath anchor Jimmy Maher in the 3rd over, cheaply for 3 & the Hyderabad scorecard reading 10. Rakesh Patel was has impressed one and all throughout the tournament struck the second blow on Hyderabad, packing back the dangerous Razzaq to leave the defending champions in a bit of a bother at 14/2 in the 4th over.
Kemps’ wicket as Gillespie’s second scalp, smartly caught by Campbell behind the wickets read further misery for the Hyderabadi’s in the 5th over. At the end of the 5th over the boys from Gujarat were right on top at the Hyderabad score of 20/3.
Rayudu’s wicket in the7th over brought the pedigreed Binny to the middle, getting into the repair act right away & taking the score to 60/4 with four wonderful boundaries at the half way mark of the innings; ably supported on the other end by dependable Nicky Boje. Binny was looking in great touch and playing some marvelous strokes under very trying conditions.
However Kalia induced a false stroke from the young Binny in the crucial 14th over, falling short of a much deserved half century by 2 runs. His 48 run knock came off 31 balls and included 8 fours and 1 six. The 15th over mark had the Hyderabad side placed at 102/5. Boje, who has made it a habit to play the crisis-man for the defending champions, was playing a fighting knock at the other end, finally brought to an end by Rakesh Patel in the 18th over.
Boje’s knock was worth 47 runs off 30 balls and included five fours and two sixes. A dropped chance by Sriram off Patel was all the luck that Harris needed who cut loose in the 19th over from Heath Streak crossing the 150 mark at that stage of the innings. Harris’ unbeaten cameo was worth 37 runs off only 18 balls and powered the Hyderabad side to a healthy 166/6 in their allotted 20 overs.
For the Ahmedabad side it was their new ball bowlers Gillespie & Patel, who emerged the most successful with 2 wickets a piece.
The Ahmedabad chase started with their inform combination of Campbell & Goodwin, coming into the match with a century partnership in their previous encounter. By the fifth over mark the Hyderabad bowlers managed to keep a tight leash on the two dangerous openers at 24 for no loss. Harris introduced both his premiere left arm spinners Reddy & Boje as early as the 6th over making it an engrossing contest between the bat & ball.
Boje however had the last laugh trapping the dangerous Campbell LBW in the crucial 9th over. Campbell’s knock was worth 33 runs off 27 balls including 3 fours and 1 six. The half way mark had the Ahmedabad side placed at 56/1 needing another 111 runs at over 11 runs per over & 9 wickets in hand.
The legendary Hyderabadi discipline was on full show and some tight bowling backed by sharp fielding, allowed no leeway for the Ahmedabad innings struggling at 93/1 at the end of the 15th over; needing a humongous 74 runs off only 30 balls. Two mighty sixes off IS Reddy brought about Goodwin’s second ICL fifty coming off 45 balls including 2 fours and 3 sixes in the 16th over.
Just when the Ahmedabad Rockets were trying to cut loose Ambati Rayudu took a blinder of a catch on the long on boundary to pack back Martyn in the 17th over. Harris got his second scalp of the over with the big wicket of Goodwin to almost seal victory for the defending champions.
The penultimate over had the Ahmedabad Rockets need another 36 runs off only 12 balls. In the end a courageous unbeaten knock from the combative Reetinder Singh Sodhi worth 41 runs off only 15 balls including 1 four and four sixes ; that took the match right down to the wire saw the Hyderabad Heroes scamper home by only 3 runs.