Hyderabad Heroes win ICL opener

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/i/icl1.jpg' class='caption'> Hyderabad Heroes started their ICL campaign on a winning note defeating last year runners-up Lahore Badshah by 18 runs at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium.

Updated: October 14, 2008 11:34 IST
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Defending champions Hyderabad Heroes started their campaign on a winning note in a power-disrupted inaugural match of the rebel Indian Cricket League's second season defeating last year runners-up Lahore Badshah by 18 runs at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium.

Despite a 102-run partnership off just 70 balls between Ambati Rayudu and opener James Maher, Hyderabad Heroes posted a moderate target of 166.

Chasing the target, Lahore was on 30 for two in six overs, with skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq batting on 9 and opener Imran Nazir unbeaten on 19, when the four floodlights went off all of a sudden, plunging the stadium into darkness.

After a 50-minute wait, the umpires declared Hyderabad Heroes the winner of the match by 18 runs in accordance with the VJD method.

Earlier in the match, opener Abdul Razzaq initiated Hyderabad's attack with a huge six over the backward point off Mohammad Sami in the fifth ball of the second over. But he returned to the pavilion lamely in the very next delivery.

Undeterred by the loss of Razzaq, Rayudu made a creditable 58 off 42 balls, while Maher supported him with his agile 41 off 44 balls. The duo helped Hyderabad reach the 50-run mark in the seventh over with both of them showing a consummate ease in rotating strikes during the initial overs of the match to recover from the early loss of Razzaq.

Rayadu, who was adjudged the Man of the Match, ripped through former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mustaq and blasted him for two successive over-boundaries in the 12th over. His innings was adorned with a knock of five sixes and one boundary before being dismissed by pacer Mohammad Sami.

Maher, who struck three boundaries and one six, was sent back to the pavilion by Lahore Badshah's Naved-ul-Hasan in the 16th over.

Lahore bowlers put some check on the Hyderabad's innings towards the end taking four wickets in an equal number of overs. They, however, gave away six runs in penalty for slow over rate.

Sami grabbed two wickets for 36, while Naved took the same number of wickets for 33. Azhar Mahmood took one wicket.

Later chasing the 166 for victory, Lahore suffered two early jolts when Imran Farhat was dismissed by Abdul Razzaq in the very first over followed by Shahid Yousuf's wicket in the next over by Stuart Binny.

Skipper Inzamam, who put up a brave fight to avenge last year's defeat in the ICL finals, paired up with Nazir and was trying to arrest the downfall of his team, when the powercut took place, leading to application of the VJD methods.

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