Hyderabad, April 09, 2008: The first match of the ICL 20s World Series featured the ICL India Team take on the ICL World Team at the magnificent ICL facility, Lal Bahadur Stadium, Hyderabad. A classic encounter was in store, with some of the most promising Indian cricketing talents taking on a consortium of internationally acclaimed players from the global cricketing fraternity. ICL India team captain, R. Sathish won the toss and elected to bat on a flat track expected to assist the spinners as the match progressed. In the end it was the experience that helped the ICL-World side score a comfortable 8 wicket victory over debutants ICL-India. Damein Martyn was declared Man of the Match.The Indians opened their innings with their two prodigal talents Vignesh & Abhishek Jhunjhunwala. It worked out to be a shaky start with Jhunjhunwala packed back to the Indian dug out without troubling the scorers. It soon turned out to be a disastrous start with the score reading 9/4 at the end of the 3rd over. At the end of the 7th over, the Indian side was placed at 39/4 with Gavaskar & TP trying to resurrect the innings.
By the 11th over, the rescue act resulted in providing respectability to the ICL-India total taking it to 66 runs, helped by a 50 runs partnership between Singh & Gavaskar. However, the fruitful partnership was cut short by a tidy piece of work in the field by Russel Arnold that found Gavaskar short of his ground, run out for a well made 30 in the 12th over.
Binny who replaced Gavaskar at the wicket, took off from his stupendous form at the Edelweiss 20s Challenge scoring a couple of big hits to the fence to get off to a brisk start. With 4 overs to go, the ICL India team were placed at 99/5. TP Singh got into the act scoring some fluent boundaries, brining on a superb fighting fifty of only 40 balls in the 18th over. Both Binny & Singh were taking the attack to the ICL World side with a half century partnership off only 32 balls. Helped by the wonderful partnership, the Indians finally folded their innings at a respectable 141/5 in their allotted 20overs.
The ICL-World reply came in the form of Vincent & the great Ian Harvey opening the innings. Vignesh got the first breakthrough for the Indians sending back the dangerous Harvey cheaply for 5. At the end of the 5th over, the ICL-World side were comfortably placed chasing the modest target at 36/1 & with Martyn & Vincent looking comfortable at the wicket.
The 50 for ICL World came with a massive six by Vincent in the 7th over. Martyn was finding his touch which had eluded him at the Edelweiss 20s Challenge, displaying some graceful strokes to a well attended LBS stadium. The ICL Indians were looking tentative in their international debut, dropping some easy chances in the field. The Vincent-Martyn partnership was looking ominous till Vincent threw it away caught by Syed off Binny for an entertaining 43.
At the 11th over mark, ICL World needed only 59 off 54 balls with 8 wickets in hand. The middle over had the class-acts Martyn & Atapattu dealing mainly in singles with the occasional touch boundary keeping the World side right on target. With 5 overs to go, the ICL World team only needed 27 off 30 balls at a modest 5.4 runs per over & 8 wickets in hand. Martyn brought off his classy fifty in the 16th over off only 44 balls. In the end the ICL-World side cruised home to a comfortable 8 wicket victory with more than an over & half to spare.