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Heroes down Badshah in tense finale to lift trophy

Hyderabad, Apr 6: The Hyderabad Heroes have won the Edelweiss 20s Challenge beating Lahore Badshahs in a dramatic game, with scores tied in the final over and the winner decided through a bowl out.

Jeff Dujon in his pitch report predicted a track with good bounce and carry, making it conducive for stroke play.Inzamam won the toss and elected to bat. The Badshahs opened their account in a do or die battle with Imran Nazir&Taufeeq Umar. It was a positive start with both the openers playing their strokes taking the score to 25 for no loss at the end of the third over. Harris brought on the young Absolem in the fifth over and he responded immediately, drawing first blood with the wicket of Umar. At the end of the fifth over, the Badshahs were at 38/1.

Harris then introduced spin from both ends, at the start of the seventh over, with both Boje and Reddy were relatively successful in pulling back the Badshahs scoring machine.

The pressure finally resulted in Reddy getting rid of the dangerous Nazir for a well made 30. At the half way mark of their innings the match was well poised with Badshahs at 65/2.

Reddy was bowling beautifully in front of his packed home ground stadium and got the big break, trapping the Inzi in front of the wicket in the 12th over leaving the Badshahs in a bit of a bother at 75/3.

Hyderabad's superhero of the Edelweiss 20s Challenge, Stuart Binny got into the act in his first over sending back the dangerous Farhat in the 14th over. At the end of the 15th over, Badshahs were at 96/4.

Binny was thriving in the big match situation with three wickets, bringing about a mini collapse in the Badshahs middle order, leaving them reeling at 98/6.

With two overs to go, the Badshahs were struggling at 111/6 with Azhar Mahmood holding the key for any chance of a final onslaught.

However, there was no momentum whatsoever and the Badshahs folded their innings 130/9 in their allotted 20 overs.

In reply, the Heroes got off to a cautious start placed at 17 for no loss at the end of three overs. A contest was in store with both Sami and Mahmood bowling a hostile spell of fast bowling with Razzaq and Maher countering it with some solid batting.

Inzamam then brought on his spin spearhead Mushtaq, in the seventh over and he responded immediately with the wicket of Razzaq bringing the Badshahs right back into the match.

At the seventh over mark, the Heroes were placed at 40/1. Mushtaq struck again in the ninth over castling the Heroes batting mainstay Maher for 19. With ten overs remaining, the capacity crowd was getting its money's worth with the match delicately poised at the Heroes' score of 59/2, needing another 72 runs with 8 wickets in hand.

Inzamam then brought on Rana Naved in the 14th over, who broke the dangerous partnership between Boje and Rayudu with a peach of a delivery bringing the Badshahs right back into the match.

With four overs to go, the Heroes were away from the championship by only 35 runs with Rayudu holding the mantle in front of his home crowd. Rana Naved picked up three wickets in the 18th over setting the match to go all the way down to the wire.

A final over drama saw the scores tied taking the match into a bowl out. In the bowl out, it was the Hyderabad Heroes who held their nerves winning the Edelweiss 20s Challenge, pocketing Rs two crore.

Lahore Badshahs ended up runners-up winning a handsome Rs one crore while Chennai Superstars and Kolkata Tigers ended up in third and fourth position pocketing Rs 75 lakh and Rs 50 lakh respectively.

Naved-ul-Hasan and Ambati Rayudu were jointly declared the Man of the Match pocketing Rs two lakhs, a Diamond Ball sponsored by Gitanjali Group and the Trophy, while Abdul Razzaq was declared Man of the Series for the Edelweiss 20s Challenge winning Rs 40 Lakhs and the Trophy.

Bharatstudent.com, the team sponsor for the Hyderabad Heroes also declared Rs four Lakh each to the Best Batsman and Best Bowler of the Edelweiss 20s Challenge respectively.

Brief Scores: Lahore Badshahs 130/9 in 20overs (Nazir 30, Farhat30, Binny 3/9, IS. Reddy 4/19) Hyderabad Heroes130allout in19.4 overs (Rayudu46, Mushtaq 2/19, Rana Naved5/22).


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Story first published: Monday, April 7, 2008, 2:03 [IST]
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