An unbeaten half-century by Awishka Gunawardne (55 n o) guided Delhi Giants to a comfortable nine-wicket win over Ahmedabad Rockets in the eighth match of the Indian Cricket League Twenty20 Championship being played at Tau Devi Lal Stadium, Panchkula on Sunday.Ahemedabad Rockets’ skipper Damien Martyn won the toss and chose to bat first on a pitch that seemed bowler-friendly. Sachin Dholpure and Wavell Hinds opened the batting for Rockets, but Rockets were soon into trouble with Dholpure (1) edging a Sudhinra’ delivery onto his stumps in the second over with Rockets’ score being 3 for 1. Hinds (5) too departed early after he was run out, with Ali Murtaza sending a good throw from third man and Bond took no time to shatter the stumps in the third over. It was again some electrifying effort from Giants’fielders when Murray Goodwin was caught short of his crease afer a direct hit from Abhinav Bali in the fourth over of Rockets’ innings.
Skipper Damien Martyn then joined Patel in the middle as both of them tried to give solidarity to Rockets’ total. Both were then associated in a 21-run stand for the fourth wicket before Patel was clean bowled by Dale Benkenstien in the ninth over after contributing seven runs off 20 balls. Marty and Sriram then began the rebuilding act and dealt mostly in singles and occasional boundaries. Martyn stepped up the tempo in the 17th over when he struck New Zealander Shane Bond for two boundaries to step up the tempo for Rockets. He then struck Murtaza for a boundary in the next over before Sriram was run out in the 19th over after a miscalculated call by Martyn resulted in Sriram’s dismissal. Martn too departed in the last over of the Rockets’ innings at an individual score of 44 runs off 45 balls before Reeteinder Singh Sodhi smashed Yadav for two fours and a he six to propel the Rockets’total to 107 for 6 in the allotted 20 overs. Sudhindra, Yadav and Bekenstien picked up one wicket each for Giants.Chasing a target of 107 runs, Giants were off to a flying start as both the openers, Gunawardne and Mishra flayed the Rockets’ attack. Gunawardne was more into punishing mode as he first hit Patel for two boundaries in the fourth over and then smashed Patel again for two huge sixes and a four in the sixth over of the Giants innings. Mishra played a supportive role to Gunawarnde as Mishra made 18 off 28 balls before Patel took a fine catch off the bowling of Sriram in the tenth over with Giants’ score being 66 for 1. Gunawardne meanwhile continued to deal in boundaries as he smashed Sriram for a huge six in the 12th over before racing to his fifty in the same over off 39 balls. Bali then shifted in to top gear as he first hoisted Bhima Rao for a huge six in the 13th over and then smashed him for a for in the same over.
Bali and Gunawardne then took the Ginats total past 107 with 4.3 overs remaining thereby handing Giants a morale boosting nine-wicket win. Gunawardne remained unbeaten on 55 while Bali score 34.