Delhi, October 26, 2008: The 20thth match of the ICL 20s Indian Championship featured the high octane, "Super Sunday-cricket" encounter, with hosts Delhi Giants take on the mighty Lahore Badshahs from Pakistan, at the Tau Devi Lal stadium Gurgaon. In a highly engrossing encounter it was the home side that came up triumphs scoring an emphatic 6 wicket victory primarily architected by the two Ali’s; Abbas & Murtaza. Ali Murtaza declared man of the match for brilliant spell of 4/7.
Earlier in the evening Lahore Badshahs, won the toss and elected to bat, a move that surprised many an expert with the dew factor playing an important role in the match. It was for the first time in the tournament that the Delhi Giants opened the bowling with their superstar Shane Bond, who did shake and stir the world record holding openers; Farhat & Nazir. The Giants struck early with Nixon bringing about a brilliant piece of stumping to dismiss the dangerous Nazir off Sudhindra for 12 in the 4th over & the Lahore scoreboard reading 28. Atapattu introduced Murtaza in the 7th over who struck immediately with the first ball scalping Imran Farhat, to leave the Lahore Badshahs in a bit of a bother at 38/2. Live wire Nixon was having a brilliant day behind the stumps scalping his second stumping off the wily Murtaza to pack back Humayun Farhat to the Lahore dugout. Murtaza was working some great spin bowling troubling the formidable Lahore batsmen and picking up his third scalp with Shahid Yousuf’s wicket to leave the Lahore Badshahs in deep trouble at 43/4 in the 9th over. Murtaza picked the jewel in the crown picking up his fourth scalp in form of the great Inzamam Ul Haq cheaply for 12runs against his name. The wily Murtaza was delighting the home crowds to some top of the drawer spin bowling & ended his brilliant spell with stupendous figures of 4/7 off his allotted 4 overs. The 16th over mark saw a minor recovery for the Lahore Badshahs with Azhar Mahmood playing an aggressive innings to take the score to 103/5. Azhar Mahmood got his fifty of the innings with a brilliant six over the head of the pacy Shane Bond. The brilliant fifty came off only 30 balls including 4 fours & same number of sixes. It was a brilliant counter attack from the marvelous Mahmood, that saw the Lahore Badshahs recover to set the Delhi Giants a decent target of 148. Azhar’s brilliant knock was worth 67 runs off 39 balls including 5 fours and 5 sixes.
The Delhi Giants chase got off to a shaky start with the big wicket of Atapattu, smartly held at first slip by Mahmood off Rana Naved, with the scorecard reading 13. Mahmood was determined to stamp hi mark on the match scalping Mishra with a brilliant out-swinger in the third over to leave the home side in a bit of a bother 23/2. Dhruv Mahajan in company of the pedigreed Abbas Ali were putting up a determined fight against one of the most formidable bowling attacks, taking the score to 48/2 at the 5th over mark. Inzamam introduced the first change in form of the impressive Shahid Nazir who immediately broke the promising 29 run partnership with the wicket of Mahajan. The half way mark of their innings had the Delhi side right in hunt, placed at 76/3, needing another 72 off 60 balls & Abbas Ali anchoring the innings in company of the promising Abhinav Bali. Both batsmen brought the Delhi Giants 100 in the 13th over, followed by a fifty partnership between the two players. Inzamam who had surprised most experts with his decisions throughout the match came up with a new rabbit out of his hat brining himself on to ball in the 15th over. A brilliant six over extra cover brought about Abbas Ali’s well deserved fifty coming off 43 balls & laced with 4 fours and 1 six. Inzamam got his first wicket getting the pedigreed Abbas Ali stumped for a well made 52 in the 17th over, also brining to an end a brilliant 80 run match winning partnership for the 4th wicket between the Abbas & Bali. In the end it was the perfect diwali gift for the home crowd with the Delhi Giants scoring one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, beating the mighty Badshahs by 6 wickets.
Brief Scores: Lahore Badshahs147/5 in 20 overs (Azhar Mahmood 67* Hafiz Khalid 20*, Ali Murtaza 4/7)lost by 6 wickets to Delhi Giants 148/4 in18.3 overs( Abbas Ali 52 , Abhinav Bali 47* Nazir 1/17)