Abdul Razzaq’s all-round performance (78 n.o. and 3/31) and a half-century blitzkrieg from Ambati Rayudu (55) scripted Hyderabad Heroes’ seven-run win over Mumbai Champs, and also their objective of evading leaders and a strong title aspirant Lahore Badshahs in the semis, in the final league match of the Edelweiss 20s Challenge cricket championship played at the Lal Bahadur Stadium here on Monday.
Hyderabad Heroes finished their league engagements with 10 points to be placed at second spot. Heroes maintained their ominous record at home scoring their fifth straight win at home and will now fight it out with Chennai Superstars here in the first semifinal on April 2 while Lahore Badshahs (14 points) will take on Kolkata Tigers on April 3 at Panchkula.
Chasing the target of 177 for victory, Mumbai Champs’ was in contention at one point after some fine batting by Raviraj Patil early on, who smashed 51 of just 27 balls that included six boundaries and three sixes but then a middle-order fall let it slip from Champs’ grip as they were 139 for six in 18th over from 94 for two in the 11th over.
Robin Morris (56, 47 balls, 3x4, 1x6) held the fort to keep champs in race towards the end but Chris Harris castled the dangerous Johan van der Wath in the 19th over and Man-of-the-Match Razzaq struck twice in the final over to get their team romp home victorious.
Earlier, Chris Harris won the toss and elected to bat. Heroes’ mainstay Maher set the tone for the match after smashing three fours off Van der Wath in the very first over. Heroes were placed at 35/1 at the end of the 5th over with Van der Wath sending back the dangerous Maher for 26.
Yadav and Iyer, the spin duo for the Champs, did a good job in containing the batsmen. Heroes were placed at a modest 58/1 at the half way mark of their innings.
Razzaq (78 n.o., 57 balls, 9x4, 2x6) and local lad Rayudu (55, 42 balls, 6x4, 2x6) combined well to help Heroes post a challenging 176 for two. The duo put on 121 runs from 12.5 overs in a great second wicket partnership.
Their partnership was very good as both the batsmen played shots all around the ground and completed their century stand off only 68 balls.
Brief Scores: Hyderabad Heroes: 176 for two in 20 overs (Abdul Razzaq 78 n.o., Ambati Rayudu 55) bt Mumbai Champs 169 for nine in 20 overs (Raviraj Patil 51, Robin Morris 56, Abdul Razzaq three for 31).
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