Champs finally claim first win
The 24th match of the ICL20s Indian Championship featured hosts Delhi Giants, take on traditional rivals Mumbai Champs in the much anticipated “trans-metro rivalry” at the Tau Devi Lal stadium Gurgaon.
In the end it was the boys from Mumbai, representing the nursery of Indian cricket; displaying a determined all round performance to outclass the Delhi team & register their maiden victory of the tournament by a big margin of 58 runs. Ranjit Khirid won the man of the match for his stupendous performance with both bat and ball.
Earlier in the evening Marvan Atapattu, won the toss and elected to field. The Mumbai side opened with the left- right combination of Jadhav & Paul, who got 19 runs for the first wicket before Bond packed off Subhojit cheaply for 3 in the 3rd over. At the end of the 5th over Mumbai Champs was placed at 32/1 & Jadhav and Taufeeq holding the mantel of the Mumbai batting.
A well disguised slower one from Abid Nabi castled Taufeeq in the 7th over with only 9 runs against his name. The half way mark of their innings saw the Mumbai Champs paced at 71/2, making it an intriguing battle between bat & ball in the crucial middle overs stage.
Hasan Raza who had so far had an indifferent tournament was determined to put on a good show and was involved in a lovely battle with ICL’s premiere spinner Ali Murtaza. Jadhav at the other end was playing the perfect sheath anchor role & bringing his third ICL fifty off 37 balls including seven classical fours to the boundary.
It was for the first time in the tournament that the Mumbai batting was showing some serious class and both batsmen looking in supreme touch; working up a brilliant foundation for the final onslaught at the 15th over mark. However Ali Murtaza got the Delhi side back with the wicket of Jadhav for a well made 59; in turn ending the brilliant 68 run partnership for the third wicket.
With four overs to go the Mumbai side was placed at 123/3 and the dangerous Raza holding the key for a strong batting finish. Nabi got his second scalp of the match with the big wicket of Hasan Raza in the 18th over to bring the Delhi side back into the match. Raza’s knock was worth 43 runs off 30 balls and included 2 fours & same number of sixes.
Ranjit Khirid, coming into this match with a cracking half century in the previous game was on the task right away playing another brilliant unbeaten cameo for the second consecutive time; worth 43 runs off 20 balls, including 3 fours and 3 sixes. The Mumbai Champs in the end folded their innings at 174/4 in their allotted 20 overs.
The Delhi Giants chase was off to a solid start with skipper Atapattu in company of the aggressive Monish Mishra taking the score to 25 for no loss at the end of the third over. Debutant Anupam Sanklecha struck back for a determined looking Mumbai, packing back the dangerous Mishra for 13 runs against his name in the 4th over.
Sanklecha struck again, getting the big wicket of Atapattu in the 6th over to leave the Delhi Chase in a bit of a bother at 36/2. Astle came up with a new strategy to bowl out his strike bowler Michael Kasprowicz in a single spell & he sure delivered with a fine economical spell of 22/0 in his allotted four overs.
Just when it seemed that Mumbai had the upper-hand ; Delhi’s batting anchor Abbas Ali was staging a determined fight back racing off to 24 off 14 balls including 4 wonderful boundaries at the 9th over mark.
Two quick wickets of Mahajan & Abbas had the Mumbai Champs sniff their first victory of the tournament at the 11th over mark; Delhi Scorecard reading a troubled 71/4. Abbas’ promising innings was worth 31 runs off 19 balls including 5 wonderful boundaries.
The 12th over mark had the Delhi side placed with a stiff task of needing 95 runs off 48 balls & 6 wickets in hand. Avinash Yadav was working up a fine spell in the crucial middle overs strangulating the Delhi batsmen causing complete panic amongst the lower middle-order reduced to 104/8 in the 15th over.
Avinash’s three over spell at that stage earned him 3 wickets for only 17 runs. In the end it was a wonderful performance from the underdogs Mumbai Champs who emerged victorious by a big margin of 58 runs. Avinash Yadav was the hero in the field for Mumbai scalping 4 wickets.