Panchkula:In a thrilling end to a closely contested game, Delhi Giants defeated Chandigarh Lions through bowl out in the ICL's Twenty20 match played on Wednesday.
Chasing 201 for victory, the Giants managed to reach 200/4 at the end of 20 overs. They needed eight runs in the final over bowled by Lions skipper Andrew Hall, who had a well set opener Avishka Gunawardene (64) bowled out of the second ball.
The Giants needed five runs of the last ball, but their skipper Paul Nixon, who led the side in the absence of Marvan Atapattu, managed to hit a boundary, thus leveling the scores and forcing a bowl out.
However, the Lions made a mess of the bowl out as none of their bowler succeeded in hitting the stumps while Ali Murtaza and Dhruv Mahajan hit the stumps for Giants.
Earlier, a sensational batting display from opener Monish Mishra, who struck 81 of 44 balls, and brilliant knock by his partner Avishka Gunawardene helped Delhi Giants surpass a formidable 200 posted by Chandigarh Lions.
The 22-year-old right handed Mishra's blazing innings, which earned him man-of-the-match was studded with ten boundaries and three towering sixes and when he was stumped of the bowling of spinner Rajesh Sharma on the last ball of 11th over, the Lions were celebrating.
However, the pair had weaved a crucial 126-run partnership by then and though Giants lost their second wicket when Abhinav Bali (15) got out in the 17th over, Gunawardene ensured that he stayed till the end.
The Lions bowlers Daryl Tuffey, Andrew Hall, Ishan Malhotra and Bipul Sharma, all came in for some hammer from the Giants batsmen.
The Giants victory also meant that they had spoilt the chances of Lions in reaching the semi-finals while they themselves had little chance in finishing among top four teams. The Lions have now played seven games and won three while Giants have played their eight matches and won four.
Earlier, the Lions who chose to bat first after winning the toss, saw some brilliant batting display from opening pair of Sarabjit Singh (60 of 53 balls) and T P Singh (65 of 31 balls).
The left-hander T P Singh's innings, which was studded with eleven boundaries and a six, came to an end in the 11th over owing to a brilliant catch in the outfield by Monish Mishra off Dale Benkenstein. His departure also ended the 98 run partnership for the first wicket.
Singh's wicket brought ICL's new induction former England batsman Graeme Hick in the middle who got into the act right away taking the score to 130 at the 13th over mark. Hick scored a quickfire 36 of 18 balls.
Sarabjit too brought about his half century in the 15th over, but soon thereafter failed to read the flight from spinner Ali Murtaza and found his stumps uprooted.
Paul Nixon, who led the side in the absence of Marvan Atapattu, brought on his premiere spearhead Shane Bond in the 17th over, who put the plugs on the Chandigarh batting juggernaut with the wickets of Hick and Lou Vincent (0) of consecutive balls.
Murtaza came back for his second spell in the next over packing back the dangerous Sarabjit for a well made 60 runs off 43 balls; including 4 fours and 3 sixes.
Some top class bowing from Bond and Murtaza in the death overs did manage to reduce the huge damage inflicted by the top order Chandigarh batting.
For the Giants, the pick of the bowlers were Murtaza and Bond who ended with two wickets each.