Tuesday, March 18, 2008

ICL 20s Grand Championship: Chennai Superstars cruise to victory over Tigers

Russell Arnold used his experience to good effect, while Ian Harvey set the platform for the run chase as the Chennai Superstars defeated Kolkata Tigers by four wickets with two balls to spare in the most exciting and high-scoring match of the ICL 20s Grand Championship as yet here tonight.

The Tigers will consider themselves unlucky to lose the match, but both the teams entertained the Hyderabad crowd to the hilt.

Harvey and G Vignesh gave the Superstars an explosive start in their pursuit of their target of 186, by putting on 49 runs in five overs.

Vignesh was the more aggressive opener and hit five boundaries and one six in his cameo knock of 29 off 13 balls before he was cleaned up by a slower delivery from Nantie Hayward.

Harvey and Arnold then put their heads down and played some smart and chanceless cricket and had put on 43 runs for the second wicket in quick time. And, just when Harvey (49) looked all set to get to a well-deserved half century, a peach of a delivery from PL Das sent his off-stump cartwheeling.

It was then left to Arnold to play the senior role and help steer the Superstars home, and luckliy for them he chose this opportunity to come good after some indifferent form in the ICL.

And, though Hemang Badani and captain R Sathish didn't stick around with Arnold, V Saravanan (8) put on a quick 33-runs partnership for the fifth wicket with Arnold to bring the Superstars closer to victory.

The Superstars needed 10 runs to win off the last over of the match bowled by PL Das, and man-of-the-match Arnold held his nerve and hit the winning shot to remain unbeaten on 66. As soon as the winning boundary was hit, the Superstars team ran onto the ground, while Das was a picture of dejection.

And, though Hayward, Andre Adams, Das and skipper Craig McMillan were among the wickets for the Tigers, none of them was able to stop the Superstars from registering a famous win.

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