ICL 20s: Arnold helps Superstars eadge past Tigers

Published: Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Hyderabad: In a humdinger of a finish, the Lankan batsman Russell Arnold held his nerves to help Chennai Superstars snatch victory off the penultimate ball  in the Edelweiss ICL 20s tie against Kolkata Tigers at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium here on Monday.

Batting first Kolkata side posted a mammoth 185/6, thanks to skipper McMillan's 41-ball 69 and a solid run-a-ball 50 from Jhunjhunwala. In reply Superstars riding on Arnold's 40-ball 66*, hunted down the target with four wickets in hand and two balls to spare.

Kolkata opting to bat first had a dismal start losing both the openers early on. Pak seamer Shabbir Ahmed struck in the last ball of his first over to send Subhomoy Das packing. Klusener continued his poor run in the event holing out to Sathish Rajgopal off Vignesh.

Further disaster awaited the Tigers when a terrible mix up saw the end of Deep Dasgupta, leaving the Tigers' innings struggling at 14/3.

The next man in McMillan joined Jhunjhunwala in the middle and saw off early blues taking no risks. McMillan played an aggressive innings while his partner grafted and was content in keeping the Kiwi batter on strike. The partnership yielded a valuable 99 runs. Kolkata skipper's hurricane innings came to an end when he failed to beat the throw from his counterpart Rajgopal. McMillan's 41-ball knock was studded with five hits to fence and four over it.

The gloveman Jhunjhunwala batted right thro' the innings for his crafty 50* off 46 inclusive of two boundaries and a six.

Rohan Gavaskar (23 off 8) played a gem of a cameo knock in the final overs to help Tigers pile up a huge 185/6.

The Superstars, began their quest for what eventually turned to be the highest run chase in the event so far, on a high note with openers providing a blazing start. Ian Harvey and Vignesh made a quickfire 40/0 in four overs. Vignesh scored freely dealing in boundaries and raced to 29 in just 13 balls before being castled by Hayward off a slower one.

Harvey, who remained mute spectator when Vignesh was on song took to the attack after the later's departure. Harvey timed the ball wonderfully well and was scoring boundaries and sixes at will before the young seamer Pritam Das' peach of a in swinging delivery rearranged the Aussie all-rounder's woodwork.

Half-way thro' the match was evenly poised with Stars' placed 98/2 with veterans Arnold and Badani were at the crease. Kolkata struck back thro' Adams when the Kiwi paceman induced Badani to edge for a regulation caught-behind. At the end of 15 overs

Chennai was placed at 134/4 needing 52 more runs off 30 balls. Arnold, who thrived proper cricketing shots so far, played a flurry of innovative shots to guide his side home. Arnold's 40-ball 66* earned his side a much needed win and him the Man-of-the-Match award.



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