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November 5, 2008
Delhi Giants 200 (Mishra 81, Gunawardene 64) tied with Chandigarh Lions 200 (TP Singh 65, Sarabjit Singh 60). Delhi Giants won by bowl-out
Undoubtedly the best match of the tournament so far. It had all the makings - both teams scoring big, a last-ball tie and a nervy bowl-out. In the end, it was Delhi who emerged victorious, winning the bowl-out 2-0. It was a gutsy performance after Chandigarh looked to have the match wrapped up after posting 200, the second-highest score of the tournament.
Delhi, however, miss out on semi-final spot, as they could climb as far up as fifth in the points table with the win in this, their last match. Chandigarh would be gutted after this performance but may still make the semis with a win against Ahmedabad and other results going their way.
The Chandigarh openers justified captain Andrew Hall's decision to bat first. Sarabjit Singh and TP Singh were in unforgiving mood as they launched into Shane Bond and TP Sudhindra early on. Sudhindra in particular came in for some punishment from TP, being hit for two and four boundaries in his second and third overs respectively.
TP looked to be a man possessed as he raced to his fifty off 22 balls, while Sarabjit ably assisted him at the other end. Chandigarh were looking at a mammoth total at the half-way stage with the score on 95. But Benkenstein had TP caught by Mishra in the eleventh over.
Newest recruit Graeme Hick walked in and it was in Benkenstein's next over that he smashed four fours. Sarabjit brought up his fifty with a six off Abid Nabi as Chandigarh stepped on the accelerator with the score on 157 and four overs to go.
But Bond, introduced back into the attack removed Hick and new man Lou Vincent in successive balls as Delhi looked to claw back. Murtaza's twin strikes the next over pegged back Chandigarh further. Chetan Sharma became the first man in the tournament to be given out obstructing the field as Chandigarh finished on 200.
Undaunted by the huge target, Monish Mishra gave Delhi the perfect start hitting Hall for three consecutive fours in the first over. Similar treatment was dished out for Ishan Malhotra in his first over. The bowler was then plundered for 24 in his next as Delhi raced to 68 in five overs. Mishra brought up his fifty with a four off Hall, while Avishka Gunawardene held up the other end well as Delhi reached 109 after 10 overs.
But in the 11th over, Mishra was stumped off Rajesh Sharma for 81. His 44-ball innings comprised 10 fours and three sixes. Abhinav Bali and Gunawardene looked to reduce the runs required-balls remaining margin. However, a cameo from Abbas Ali edged Delhi closer after TP had accounted for Bali in the 17th over with the score on 167.
But it was the last over from Hall which provided the heart-stopping moment. He bowled a fuller length, castling Gunawardene off the second ball, as the equation finally reduced to five off the last ball. Nixon turned it to fine leg to bring the scores level and set up a bowl-out.
Chandigarh were disappointing in the bowl-out with Bipul Sharma, Chetan Sharma, Daryl Tuffey and Andrew Hall failing to hit the stumps. But hits from Ali Murtaza and Dhruv Mahajan were enough to hand Delhi victory.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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