Vijay Lokapally

PANCHKULA: For the first time in four days, the Indian Cricket League came alive with some robust action befitting this brand of cricket.

There had been some encouraging fare but nothing to match the hard-hitting 63 by Ian Harvey that laid the foundation for Chennai Superstars, leaving Mumbai Champs in tatters at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium here on Monday.

Harvey’s splendid work was matched by an inspired show by Thiru Kumaran, who scalped six victims for just 21 runs, including the prize catch of Brian Lara, and bowled his side to a 38-run win.

Trust an Aussie to lend quality to the proceedings. The 35-year-old Harvey played a knock that was a peep into his ability to belt the ball. That he relished his knock this evening was evident.Four sixes and six fours saw Harvey in command of the situation.

Lara fails to inspire

Mumbai Champs’ skipper Brian Lara did his best to pep his bowlers up by constantly communicating with them but Harvey was unstoppable, at times carving good deliveries out of the ground. With the pitch playing true and the ball coming on nicely, batting was an enjoyable exercise, much to the chagrin of the bowlers.

The audience was enthralled by Harvey’s wide range of shots. Chris Read chipped in with a 34 off 28 balls with five fours to maintain the momentum as Chennai Superstars put the match out of Mumbai’s reach. Nathan Astle was the lone bowler to earn respect with three wickets to his credit.

The response by Mumbai Champs revolved around Lara. He lacked the drive to take the fight to the Superstars camp and the match saw a drab finish. Lara lasted a mere five balls and made four. His second failure in the tournament left Mumbai Champs with two defeats even as Chennai Superstars recorded its second victory.

The scores: Chennai Superstars 157 for seven in 20 overs (Ian Harvey 63, Chris Read 34, Nathan Astle three for 36) beat Mumbai Champs 119 in 18.5 overs (Thiru Kumaran six for 20).

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