An excellent 112-run partnership between Rusell Arnold and Hemang Badani guided Chennai Superstars to a convincing 22-run victory over Ahmedabad Rockets in the Indian Cricket League's Edelweiss 20s challenge, played at Tau Devi Lal stadium in Gurgaon, on Thursday night.
Rockets' task got difficult as Superstars' strike bowler Shabbir Ahmed gave nothing away and claimed four important wickets.
Electing to bat first Superstars were in a spot of trouble as both their openers were back in the dugout in the second over of the match. But they did well to put up a competitive total of 161.
Opener Ian Harvey hit the first ball of Superstars' innings for a boundary but confusion in the middle with Ganpati Vignesh led to his run-out in that very over.
However, a 112-run partnership between Russel Arnold and Hemang Badani for the fourth wicket led to Superstars' revival.
Arnold, with the help of six boundaries and a six, scored 69 runs while Badani complimented his senior partner well to score 45 runs off 47 balls.
The left-handed Sri Lankan was adjudged the man of the match for his superb knock.
Surprisingly, Sriram was given the ball to bowl the second over for Rockets, ahead of Jason Gillespie and Heath Streak, but he delivered, clean bowling Vignesh (11 off 7 balls) in that very over.
Jason Gillespie was the pick of Rockets' bowlers; he claimed three wickets in his four overs and accounted for Badani and Arnold's dismissal in the last overs of Superstars' innings.
Superstars are assured a place in the semi-finals of the tournament while Rockets' hopes of getting into the last four ended with this defeat.
Ian Harvey run out 5
G Vignesh b Sriram 11
Russel Arnold c Sanjeev b Gillespie 69
Stuart Law b Gillespie 10
Hemang Badani c Tamarkar b Gillespie 45
R Sathish not out 1
S V Saravanan not out 0
Extras: (lb 8, w 8, nb 4) 20
Total: (in 20 overs) 161 for 5.
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-19, 3-48, 4-160, 5-160.
Bowling: Abhishek Tamarkar 2-0-25-0, S Sriram 4-0-29-1 Heath Streak 4-0-33-0, Jason Gillespie 4-0-25-3 Martin Sanjeev 2-0-20-0, Wavel Hinds 2-0-11-0 Anshu Jain 2-0-10-0.
Wavel Hinds c Parore b Vignesh 21
Damien Martyn lbw Shabbir Ahmed 7
Murray Goodwin run out 8
Parviz Aziz c sub b Syed Mohammed 24
S Sriram c Harvey b Shabbir Ahmed 30
A S Jain c Sathish b Harvey 20
Heath Streak b Kumaran 10
M Sanjeev b Shabbir Ahmed 2
Jason Gillespie b Shabbir Ahmed 2
P P Vora not out 3
A Tamarkar b Harvey 0.
Extras: (b 1, lb 7, w 1, nb 3) 12.
Total: (in 19.4 overs) 139
Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-38, 3-39, 4-80, 5-106, 6-119, 7-123, 8-129, 9-134.
Bowling: Shabbir Ahmed 4-0-20-4, G Vignesh 4-0-22-1, T Kumaran 3-0-24-1, Ian Harvey 3.4-0-21-2, Syed Mohammed 4-0-27-1, S V Saravanan 1-0-17-0.