Struggling to keep hemselves afloat in the competition, Delhi Giants rode on a blazing 53 from Abbas Ali to snatch a nail-biting one-run win over fancied Hyderabad Heroes, who lost four batsmen to run-outs, in the ICL Twenty20 match at the Tau Devi Lal stadium in Panchkula, Haryana, on Saturday night.
Chasing 145, Heroes needed 16 runs in the final over and six of the last ball, but despite Anirudh Singh scoring a six and boundary off the last two balls they could only muster 143 for 6.
The Heroes faulted in their run chase and got early jolt when opener Jimmy Maher was sent back by a skier taken by medium pacer Shane Bond off his own bowling.
Barring Pakistani import all-rounder Abdul Razzaq (41), the Heroes made a mess of their run chase despite the modest target.
Four of their batsmen Ambati Rayudu, Justin Kemp, Nicky Boje and Stuart Binny fell were run-out to some smart fielding.
Needing 36 of 24 balls and 16 in the final over, even a late charge by all-rounder Chris Harris and Anirudh Singh did not prove good enough. The Giants had some anxious moments when Heroes needed six to win from the last ball, but Anirudh could score only a boundary off Dale Benkenstein's bowling.
Earlier electing to bat first, Delhi Giants (144/9) lost their opener Monish Mishra (5) in just the second over off the bowling of Syed Shabuddin.
After suffering early jolt, the other opener Avishka Gunawardene (17) with skipper Marvan Atapattu tried to steady the innings, but a misunderstanding between the two led to the former getting run out in the fifth over.
Atapattu (11), who has come in for some criticism from team manager Ashok Malhotra for not getting enough practice before the tournament started, appeared to take control of things after Gunawardene's exit.
However, he had himself to blame when he got bowled out trying to reverse sweep left-arm spinner Nicky Boje, leaving his team in trouble at 3-43 in the seventh over.
Left-hander Syed Abbas Ali (53 in 39 balls), adjudged man-of-the-match for his performance, struck eight boundaries and played a key role in steering his team out of trouble.
Middle order batsman Dale Benkenstein (17) chipped in with some useful runs. Chris Harris had Benkenstein dismissed (4-89) breaking the dangerous looking partnership which he was weaving with Ali.
Paul Nixon (28) also made a useful contribution. He also hit the longest six (108 m) of tournament so far when he hit Boje out of the ground in the 17th over. The ICL will give US $10,000 to the player hitting the longest six. However, Boje had the well-set Ali bowled in the same over.
In a bid to get as many runs in the last over, Giants tail-ender Shane Bond (4) fell to a sensational catch pulled off by Justin Kemp, inches inside the boundary rope off Reddy's bowling.
Harris, Inder Shekhar Reddy and Boje shared two wickets each while Abdul Razzaq earned one scalp.