Defending champions Hyderabad Heroes started their campaign on a winning note. They beat Lahore Badshahs, runners-up in the last tournament in April, by 18 runs, in a power-disrupted inaugural match of the Indian Cricket League's second Twenty20 season, at the Lal Bahadur Shastri stadium in Hyderabad, on Friday night
Despite a 102-run partnership off just 70 balls between Ambati Rayudu and opener James Maher, Hyderabad Heroes posted a moderate target of 166.
Chasing the target, Lahore were 30 for 2 in six overs, with skipper Inzamam-ul Haq batting on 9 and opener Imran Nazir unbeaten on 19, when the four floodlights went off all of a sudden, plunging the stadium into darkness.
After a 50-minute wait, the umpires declared Hyderabad Heroes winners of the match by 18 runs in accordance with the VJD method.
Earlier in the match, opener Abdul Razzaq initiated Hyderabad's attack with a huge six over the backward point off Mohammad Sami in the fifth ball of the second over. But he returned to the pavilion after the very next delivery.
Undeterred by the loss of Razzaq, Rayudu scored a creditable 58 off 42 balls, while Maher supported him with his agile 41 off 44 balls. The duo helped Hyderabad reach the 50-run mark in the seventh over with both of them showing a consummate ease in rotating strikes during the initial overs of the match to recover from the early loss of Razzaq.
Rayadu, who was adjudged the man of the match, ripped through former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mustaq and blasted him for two successive boundaries in the 12th over.
Maher, who struck three boundaries and one six, was sent back to the pavilion by Lahore Badshah's Naved-ul-Hasan in the 16th over.
The Lahore bowlers checked the Hyderabad innings towards the end, taking four wickets in an equal number of overs. They, however, gave away six runs in penalty for slow over rate.
Sami grabbed two wickets for 36, while Naved took the same number of wickets for 33. Azhar Mahmood took one wicket.
Later, chasing the 166 for victory, Lahore suffered two early jolts when Imran Farhat was dismissed by Abdul Razzaq in the very first over followed by Shahid Yousuf's wicket in the next over by Stuart Binny.
Skipper Inzamam, who put up a brave fight to avenge last year's defeat in the final, paired with Nazir and tried to arrest the slide when the power failure occurred, leading to application of the VJD method.
J Maher c Mohammad Sami b Naved-ul-Hasan 41
Abdul Razzaq c Khalid Mahmood b Mohammad Sami 13
A Rayudu c Imran Farhat b Mohammad Sami 58
J Kemp c Naved-ul-Hasan b Shahid Nazir 4
S Binny c Khalid Mahmood b Naved-ul-Hasan 12
N Boje not out 6
C Harris c Imran Farhat b Azhar Mahmood 1
K Sahabuddin not out 7
Extras: (lb 4, w 10, nb 3, penalty 6) 23
Total: (for 6 wickets; 20 overs) 165 (8.25 runs per over)
Did not bat: I Khaleel, PIS Reddy, A Absolem
Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-120, 3-129, 4-137, 5-145, 6-149.
Bowling: Azhar Mahmood 4-0-25-1 (1w); Mohammad Sami 4-0-36-2 (2w); Shahid Nazir 4-0-29-1 (2nb, 1w); Saqlain Mushtaq 4-0-33-0 (1w); Naved-ul-Hasan 4-0-32-2 (1nb, 2w).
Lahore Badshahs (target: 49 runs from 6 overs)
Imran Nazir not out 19
Imran Farhat c Maher b Abdul Razzaq 0
Shahid Yousuf c Reddy b Binny 0
Inzamam-ul-Haq not out 9
Extras: (lb 2) 2
Total: (for 2 wickets; 6 overs) 30
Did not bat: Naved Latif, Khalid Mahmood, Azhar Mahmood, Saqlain Mushtaq, Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Sami, Shahid Nazir
Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-7.
Bowling: Abdul Razzaq 3-0-15-1; S Binny 3-1-13-1.