Inzamam leads Heroes to comfortable win
Hyderabad Heroes 121 for 6 (Inzamam 42*, Yadav 3-22) beat Mumbai Champs 88 (Astle 31) by 33 runs
A fiery 28-ball 42 from Inzamam-ul-Haq boosted the Hyderabad Heroes to a competitive 121 for 6 before their bowlers wrapped up a comprehensive 33-run win in Panchkula.
Like the opening two games, the team chasing stumbled. Nathan Astle's innovative 26-ball 32 powered the innings before a disciplined bowling effort did the Mumbai Champs in. Brian Lara's first-ball duck dampened a few spirits and the one-sided nature of the chase saw a few leave before the final ball was bowled.
The ground fielding and catching continued to be excellent and the Champs' wicketkeeper, Subhojit Paul, impressed behind the stumps. Lara was trapped in front by a good cutter from Azhar Mahmood, one that pitched outside off and came in, and Ranjit Khirid, who's 12-ball 19 offered a whiff of hope, couldn't make his ground in time.
The Heroes' innings was jolted by a good spell by left-arm spinner Avinash Yadav but Inzamam did what he does best: assess the situation and pace the innings accordingly. Entering in the ninth over, he stayed till the end and added 26 with New Zealander Chris Harris. His three fours and a six, most of which came in a flurry towards the end, set up a fighting total. The bowlers and fielders took care of the rest.
The atmosphere wasn't as vibrant as the opening night, with the ground only three-quarters full, and the quality of entertainment was several notches lower. Film star Yana Gupta, who made three appearances, danced for a full ten minutes during her second stint but not many caught on to the beat. Musical numbers pop singers Mika and Anchal were met with an even more muted response. There weren't as many fireworks as yesterday and the overall ambiance lacked the punch.
Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo