ICL: Heroes tame Lions, advance into semis

Published: Sunday, March 30, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Hyderabad: A fine all-round display from skipper Chris Harris (38, 2/14) helped Hyderabad Heroes overwhelm Chandigarh Lions by 33 runs and book semis' berth in the Edelweiss ICL 20s Challenge.

Heroes opting to bat first posted a healthy 148/5 on their home turf Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, thanks to brisk 35 and 38 from Kemp and Chris Harris respectively. In reply Chandigarh Lions could manage only 115/9 despite some good work from Elliott and Mongia.

Heroes' skipper Harris predictably elected to bat on a good sporting track but the decision backfired when Lions' pacer Ishan Malhotra struck in the very first over of the innings to dismiss Aussie Jimmy Maher. Malhotra, playing his first match for Lions, along with Kiwi Tuffey exploited the conditions and extracted good swing. The duo bowled a miserly first spell.

Malhotra struck again in his third over and fifth of the innings sending the Rayadu packing for 12.  

Razzaq got into the act in the 6th over with four consecutive boundaries off Tuffey, taking 17 runs of the over. At the end of the 6th over, the Heroes were right back in the game placed at 43/2.

Cairns brought on the experienced Mongia in the 7th over to slow down things&the former India batting all-rounder responded immediately ending Razzaq's dangerous cameo of 26 runs, assisted by some smart piece of stumping from Sarabjeet.

The twin spin attack-Mongia and Rajesh Sharma contained Heroes as the hosts crawled to 65/4 after 10 overs.

However skipper Harris and Kemp took to the Lions attack and their onslaught in the end overs helped Heroes set a competitive target of 149.

The Lions' began their chase on a good note with former Aussie Elliott and his Trans-Tasman partner Vincent fired 31/0 in three overs. Harris took a leaf out of his counterpart's book and brought in his slow-ball bowlers to stop Lions' carnage&it yielded dividends right away with the first breakthrough in the form of Vincent's wicket off Boje.

Young seamer Absolem then accounted for the dangerous Elliott&Sarabjeet in quick succession, setting back the Lions at 47/3 in the 7th over.

At half-way thro' the match was evenly poised with Lions needing 85 runs off 60 balls at just under 9 runs per over with 7 wickets in hand.

The key for the Lions was heavily dependent on the fortunes of Chris Cairns battling it out in the middle. However, the Heroes captain Harris, bowled a peach of a delivery in the 12th over to send his counterpart back in the Lions dugout to leave the Chandigarh side in big trouble at 68/4.

The Heroes were displaying some remarkable discipline with the ball in the crucial middle orders, resulting in the spiraling rise of the required run rate for the Lions. At the 15th over mark, the Lions slumped to 84/5. In the end, the Lions could not breakthrough the tight leash maintained by the Heroes with the ball&fell short of the target by 33runs.

Brief Scores:

Hyderabad Heroes 148/5 in 20 overs (Chris Harris 38, Justin Kemp 35; Ishan Malhotra 2 for 22) beat Chandigarh Lions 115/9 in 20 (Matt Elliott 34, Dinesh Mongia 37, Absolem 2 for 17, Chris Harris 2 for 14).


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