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October 25, 2008
Match factsOct 26, 2008
Big PictureThe Chandigarh Lions, with two wins in two games, are the only unbeaten team in the ICL's second season. Their first game in Gurgaon slots them up against defending champions Hyderabad Heroes, and a Chris Cairns-led Chandigarh would look to quickly brush off any signs of rustiness. This will be their first match since victory over Chennai Superstars, the top-placed team, on October 18.
Hyderabad kicked off the tournament at home with a win over a strong Lahore Badshahs - a floodlight failure forced an early finish with Hyderabad in the advantage. They held their nerve to steal a win over the Dhaka Warriors despite a brilliant Alok Kapali century - the ICL's first - but failed to chase against Chennai. The two allrounders, Abdur Razzaq and Nicky Boje, have been vital with the ball while on the batting front, Hyderabad need the likes of Ambati Rayudu and Chris Harris to consolidate on the start provided by Jimmy Maher and Razzaq.
Both of Chandigarh's wins were close affairs, rather unusual since they came against teams at either end of the points table. Wicketkeeper Sarabjit Singh's late heroics denied the Mumbai Champs a win, and new-ball bowlers Daryl Tuffey and Andrew Hall defended 163 against Chennai.
Where they rankChandigarh are currently fourth in the points table, but the three ahead of them have already played twice the number of games. They are four points behind league leaders Chennai and the Royal Bengal Tigers, but with three games in hand, Chandigarh are very much in the running for a semi-final spot.
Hyderabad are two places below Chandigarh, and on the same number of points, but two straight wins will put them back in the reckoning.
Form guide (most recent match first)Chandigarh Lions: WW
Players to watchAbdul Razzaq has been Hyderabad's leading wicket-taker this season, but their key player in last season's title triumph - he was Player of the Tournament - has not delivered at the top of the order with the bat. If he does get into gear, expect it to rain sixes and fours in Gurgaon.
With scores of 3 and 1, Lou Vincent too has not sparkled this season while opening the batting. His overall record with Chandigarh is not too impressive either - an average of 12.44 in nine games - but if he does start scoring, it would be a handy addition to the advantage he provides in the field.
Quotes"It is not only important that the players develop their strength but they should also be able to move fast on the field. In Twenty20 this becomes very important unlike in the longer versions of the game."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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