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Delhi Giants beat Lahore Badshahs by six wickets
October 27, 2008 07:46 IST
Last Updated: October 27, 2008 16:08 IST
Man of the match Ali Murtaza ripped through the middle order while Syed Abbas Ali struck a gritty half-century and Abhinav Bali an unbeaten 47 to help the Delhi [Images] Giants beat Lahore [Images] Badshahs by six wickets in the 20th match of the ICL Twenty20 [Images] Championship at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Gurgaon on Sunday night.
Chasing 147, the Giants survived initial hiccups to reach the target with still nine balls to spare, courtesy a match-winning 80-run partnership between Ali and Bali.
The Giants had a sparkling start, when the opening duo of Marvan Ataputtu (4 runs) and Mohnish Mishra (7) scored 12 runs in the first over. But the spark was followed by smoke, when in the next over, the Delhi skipper tried to slice a Naved Ul-Hasan delivery only to be caught by Azhar Mahmood at first slip.
Mishra also followed suit when a Mahmood delivery kissed the thick outside edge of his blade and took shelter in the gloves of keeper Khalid Mahmood, who dived to his right to take an exceptional catch.
Soon Abbas Ali joined Dhruv Mahajan in the middle as the two tried to stitch a crucial partnership and brought the first fifty for the Giants in the sixth over of the innings.
However, his stay was shortlived as he failed to negotiate the bounce of a Shahid Nazir delivery and was clean bowled at an individual score of 19 runs off 12 balls, which included three hits to the fence.
With the team tottering at 52 for three, Abhinav Bali stepped in and along with Abbas Ali tried to steady the ship, picking up ones and twos while dispatching the odd balls away. The duo brought the 100 up in the 12.4 overs.
With 39 runs needed to win in 36 balls, skipper Inzamam introduced himself into the attack but it did not bear any fruit as the Bali-Ali duo picked up nine runs, which included one lofty hit over the boundary and reduced the target to a run-a-ball.
Ali picked his gritty fifty in the next over as the duo scored another 12 runs off Saqlain Mustaq to make it 16 runs off 22 balls. However, Inzamam made it sure that the game was not over yet as he sent Ali packing in his next over, picking his maiden wicket in the tournament.
Ali was bamboozled by Inzamam and was found short of his wicket when Khalid Mahmood rocked the bails off the wood. He scored 52 runs off 46 balls, marked by four hits to the fence and one six.
With 17 runs still needing to win, Paul Nixon joined Bali and the duo cruised to victory with nine balls to spare. Bali remained unbeaten at 47 runs off 41 balls, which included four strikes across the boundary and one huge six.
Opting to bat first, the Badshahs looked in a hurry as both the openers, Imran Nazir [Images] (12 off 13 balls) and Imran Farhat [Images] (16 off 22 balls), perished while looking to play big shots. Though the duo had some initial success, when they picked a couple of boundaries each but their journey was cut short by Sudhindra, who had Nazir stumped by Nixon.
Farhat also failed to capitalise after getting twin life in Shane Bond's [Images] over and perished in the seventh over, caught by Bond at long on off Ali Murtaza's first delivery. Murtaza struck again in his second over, when he had new man Humayun Farhat (7 runs off 10 balls) back to the pavillion, thanks to a clever piece of stumping by wicket-keeper Nixon.
Murtaza had the Badshahs dancing to his spin as he struck again in the last bowl of the over to make it 43 for four.
This time it was Shahid Yousuf who was found napping in front of the wicket by an arm-ball, turning in from outside off. He scored just two runs.
With two new batsmen -- Azhar Mahmood and skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq [Images] -- at the crease, the Giants stepped on the gas as the visitors ambled to the fifty mark in the 10.1 overs.
Inzamam tried to break the shackles and dispatched a J P Yadav delivery out of the park for a six in 11.4 overs. However, he too could not escape the spell of Murtaza, who sent him patching in the first ball of his fourth over, leaving the Badshahs tottering at 63 for five.
The Uttar Pradesh [Images] lad had Inzamam plumb in front off the offstump.
With the tail already being exposed, Mahmood decided to cut lose and clobbered a six and a couple of fours off a T Sudhindra over, which fetched him 15 runs. The Pakistani all rounder continued to take the bowlers to the sword as all of a sudden it started raining fours and sixes on the Delhi Giants.
Mahmood picked another six and a four to bring up the hundred after the end of 16 overs. He continued to set the field ablaze and brought his fifty hitting a lofty six over long on off a Bond delivery.
In the last three overs, Badshahs pilled 39 runs, including three fours and two sixes, most of which flew off Mahmood's blade as the Lahore team set a target of 148.