Panchkula: Chandigarh Lions snatched a thrilling nine-run victory over Delhi Jets in the opener of the inaugural edition of the Indian Cricket League Twenty20 Tournament at the Devi Lal Cricket Stadium here on Friday.
Chasing the 135-run victory mark, Jets were grounded by former Kiwi pace spearhead Derryl Tuffy (3 for 15) and former South African all-rounder Andrew Hall (2 for 26&31*) as they could muster 125 for 6 in 20 overs.
Delhi Jets got an early jolt when Hall castled Pak left-hander Taufeeq Umar for 2. Monish Mishra (18) and captain Marvan Atapattu (29) were associated in a 24-run stand for the second wicket before Monish Mishra was caught by Sarabjit off Tuffey.
The lanky New Zealander's second spell spelt a fatal blow for Jets as he plucked two important scalps-Atapattu and Dale Benkenstein. Abbas Ali and J P Yadav shared a run-a-ball 33-run stand for the sixth wicket.
However their efforts proved futile as former Punjab off-spinner Rajesh Sharma and Hall bowled exceptionally well in the death overs to help their side seal nine-run victory.
Earlier Chandigarh having been put to bat scored a decent 134 runs in stipulated 20 overs. Andrew Hall's unbeaten 31 and opening wicket partnership between Farhat and Hamish Marshall were the highlights of the Lions' innings.
Imran Farat (21)and Hamish Marshall (23) put on 40 runs before the latter was caught by Benkenstein of the bowling of JP Yadav (2 for 46). Marshall went for sweep and was caught at point. Farhat who was timing the ball well was found short of crease by a Monish's brilliant pick and throw.
After that, Jets spinners Ali Murtaza and Abhishek Sharma struck regularly to restrict Lions in the middle and in death overs. However, Andrew Hall batted with courage and remained unbeaten on 31 which included two fours in 32 deliveries. Skipper Chrish Cairns chipped in with a breezy 22 studded with two towering sixes and two boundaries.
Chandigarh Lions: 134 all out in 20 overs (Andrew Hall 31*, Cairns 22, Hamish Marshall 23, Farhat 21; Ali Murtaza 3 for 16, Abhishek Sharma 3 for 16, JP Yadav 2 for 26) beat Delhi Jets 125 for 6 in 20 overs (Abbas Ali 30*, Atapattu 29, JP Yadav 21, Monish Mishra 18; Tuffey 3 for 15, Hall 2 for 26) by 9 runs.