ICL: Scintillating win for Delhi Giants

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/i/icl.jpg' class='caption'> Delhi Giants rode on a blazing 53 run knock from Abbas Ali and managed to snatch a nail-biting 1 run win over Hyderabad Heroes on Saturday.

Updated: November 02, 2008 18:52 IST
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Panchkula, Haryana:

Struggling to keep themselves afloat in the competition, Delhi Giants rode on a blazing 53 run knock from Abbas Ali and managed to snatch a nail-biting 1 run win over top team Hyderabad Heroes, who lost four batsmen to run outs, in a league match of ICL Twenty20 played at Tau Devi Lal stadium on Saturday.

Chasing 145, the Heroes needed 16 runs in the final over and six of the last ball, but despite a six and a boundary of the last two balls from Anirudh Singh took them to a total of 143-6.

The Heroes faulted in their run chase and got early jolt when opener Jimmy Maher was sent back by a skier taken by medium pacer Shane Bond of his own bowling.

Barring Pakistani import all-rounder Abdul Razzaq (41), the Heroes made a mess of their run chase despite chasing a modest target.

Four of their batsmen Ambati Rayudu, Justin Kemp, Nicky Boje and Stuart Binny fell to some smart fielding efforts getting run out at crucial intervals.

Needing 36 of 24 balls and 16 in the final over, even a late charge by all-rounder Chris Harris and Anirudh Singh did not prove good enough. The Giants had some anxious moments when Heroes needed six to win from the last ball, but a boundary from Anirudh of Dale Benkenstein's bowling handed them the narrow win.

With this win, the Giants who were languishing at number eight position in the points table have now played seven games and won three while Heroes despite the loss are still sitting in a comfortable position with four wins from six matches.

Earlier electing to bat first, Delhi Giants (144/9) lost their opener Monish Mishra (5) in just the second over of the bowling of Syed Shabuddin.

After suffering early jolt, the other opener Avishka Gunawardene (17) with skipper Marvan Atapattu tried to steady the innings, but a misunderstanding between the two led to the former getting run out in the fifth over.

Atapattu (11), who has come in for some criticism from team manager Ashok Malhotra for not getting enough practice before the tournament started, appeared to take control of things after Gunawardene's exit.

However, he had himself to blame when he got bowled out trying to reverse sweep left-arm spinner Nicky Boje leaving his team in trouble at 3-43 in the seventh over.

Left-hander Syed Abbas Ali (53 in 39 balls), awarded man-of-the-match for his performance, struck eight boundaries and played a key role in steering his team out of trouble.

Middle order batsman Dale Benkenstein (17) chipped in with some useful runs. Chris Harris had Benkenstein bowled out (4-89) breaking the dangerous looking partnership which he was weaving with Ali.

Paul Nixon (28) also made a useful contribution. He also hit the longest six (108 m) of tournament so far when he hit Boje out of the ground in the 17th over. The ICL would give USD 10,000 to the player hitting the longest six. However, Boje had well set Ali bowled out in the same over.

In a bid to get as many runs in the last over, Giants tail-ender Shane Bond (4) fell to a sensational catch pulled of by Justin Kemp inches inside the boundary rope of Reddy's bowling.

Harris, Inder Shekhar Reddy and Boje shared two wickets each while Abdul Razzaq earned one scalp.

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