GURGAON: Out of the race for a place in the semifinals Mumbai Champs upstaged runner-up Chandigarh Lions by 35 runs to score a consolation victory in the Indian Cricket League’s Edelweiss 20s Challenge here on Tuesday.
Lions, widely expected to score its third victory and reinforce chances of making the last-four stage, came up with a disappointing show against a team that was playing for pride.
After all, Champs is among the weaker teams in the eight-team competition. The victory was only third one for Champs in 11 ICL outings, including six in this edition.
As things stand, both teams have four points. Lions has two games in hand and Champs, one.
Chasing 161, Lions never looked in the hunt. Poor running between the wickets and lack of self-belief became increasingly evident as the Lions’s frontline batsmen, Lou Vincent (17, 1x6, 1x4), Tejinder Pal Singh (21, 3x4), Dinesh Mongia (15, 2x4) and Chris Cairns (six runs off 13 deliveries) messed it up by turns.
When the asking rate was over 17 runs an over, Chetan Sharma (25, 3x6) entertained the crowd with some lusty hitting but it proved too little too late.
Six-feet-three-inch tall leg-spinner Shridhar Iyer proved the surprise pack of the day. The 20-year-old Man-of-the-Match got rid of left-handers Tejinder and Mongia at a crucial stage to keep Lions under pressure.
Later, Michael Kasprowicz bowled Cairns to pave the way for Champs’s comfortable win.
Earlier, Champs put together its highest total in the competition after skipper Nathan Astle (42, 5x4, 1x6) and opener Subhojit Paul (30, 4x4) made light the early loss of two wickets.
Useful contributions from Kiran Powar (18, 1x4, 1x6) and Shreyas Khanolkar (15, 2x4) kept up the momentum before Ranjeet Khirid smashed a 21-ball 31, including a six and a four, to take the total past the 150-mark.
Andrew Hall finished with four for nine. Champs could have added few more had Hall not struck three times in his last two overs. But eventually, it did not matter.
The scores: Mumbai Champs 160 for nine in 20 overs (Nathan Astle 42, Ranjeet Khirid 32, Subhojit Paul 30, Andrew Hall four for nine, Daryl Tuffey two for 36) bt Chandigarh Lions 125 for eight in 20 overs (Chetan Sharma 25, Tejinder Pal Singh 21, Shridhar Iyer two for 13, Michael Kasprowicz two for 20). — Special Correspondent