Ahmedabad, October 17, 2008: The 9th match of the ICL 20s Indian Championship unveiled ICL’s new sparkling facility Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad and featured hosts Ahmedabad Rockets take on Mumbai Champs in a crucial encounter for both sides. Nathan Astle won the toss and elected to bat on what seemed to be a good batting track.
The Rockets struck early with the experienced Gillespie scalping Robin Morris cheaply for one in the third over at the Champs score of 5. The Rockets opening bowlers Gillespie & Rakesh Patel were making most of the helpful conditions, keeping a tight leash on the Champs batting at 9/1 at the end of the 4th over. A first bowling change in the 5th over, in form of Heath Streak, delivered dividends immediately with Astle’s wicket, leaving the Champs in a bit of a bother at 15/2. Just when Patil & Taufeeq were set to resurrect the Champs’ innings, Bhima Rao came up with a beautiful piece of fielding to run out the dangerous Patil for 4 runs.
The Rockets pace machine was producing a fine performance at their home venue and had the tight shackles on the Mumbai batting at 37/3 at the ninth over stage. Bhima Rao’s fielding prowess was on full view and a blinder off a catch to dismiss Taufeeq off Sodhi. Taufeeq’s laborious knock of 31 runs off 35 balls included four hits to the boundary. It was Bhima Rao all the adding his fifth fielding dismissal in form of a Powar catch, to leave the Champs reeling at 61/5 in the 13th over. Bhima Rao was living up to the prophecy of ICL’s High Performance Director & former Australian national team trainer-Jock Campbell, who had identified Bhima as the fittest cricketer at the preceding physical conditioning camp.
Champs all rounder Van der Wath, joined Raza at the fall of the sixth wicket and powered a brilliant cameo of 41 off only 15 balls, including 3 fours and four sixes to take the Champs to some respectability at 130/6 in their allotted 20 overs.
Brief Scores: Mumbai Champs 130/6 in 20 overs (Van der Wath 41, Taufeeq 31, Sodhi 2/25)