Special Correspondent

GURGAON: Tejinder Pal Singh’s late blitzkrieg and Manish Sharma’s combative skills briefly raised hopes for Chandigarh Lions before Kolkata Tigers duly tightened the screws to seal a well-deserved victory in the Indian Cricket League’s Edelweiss 20s Challenge here on Wednesday.

Chasing Tigers’ 165 for seven in 20 overs, Lions was bowled out for 143 in 18.2 overs.

The 22-run victory raised Tigers’ tally to six points from five outings. With two more games in hand, Tigers is firmly in contention for a place in the semifinal.

On the other hand, Lions, with just four points from six matches, is set to join Mumbai Champs and Ahmedabad Rockets in the bunch of also-rans.

For the second time in as many days, Lions lacked the intensity on the field in both sessions. Runner-up of the last edition, Lions did not take the chances that came its way and let Tigers post a challenging total. Lance Klusener (38, one 4, two 6s) was let off early by Manish.

One-drop Abhishek Jhunjhunwala (62, five 4s and one six) played from the first to the last over to ensure Tigers crossed the psychologically important 150-run mark.

When Lions chased, Tigers had its men for the moment. Medium pacers Abu Nachim, Andre Adams, Nantie Hayward struck by turns. With wickets falling and the asking-rate climbing, Tejinder and Manish put on 50 runs in just 4.1 overs for the seventh wicket.

Tejinder came up with a superb counter-attack when he smashed three successive sixes off Upul Chandana’s over that cost 22 runs. Manish’s 16-ball 23, included a six and two boundaries.

Once they fell in the space of three deliveries in the 17th over bowled by Adams, the chase was effectively over.

Crowd trouble

Earlier, it turned out to be a bad day for the organisers. There was a fire at the media-box just before the start of the match. After the air-conditioner caught fire, some prompt action saved the situation from getting worse.

In the afternoon, a bunch of goons ransacked the ticket-counter and walked away with 700 tickets. The lack of efficient security has been a constant source of worry at this venue. On the first day, thousands invaded the pitch and as a result, the cheer-girls had to remain in the green-room for nearly an hour after the match. A section of the crowd on Wedensday entered the ground. The unruly crowd smashed the railings, broke chairs and caused damage to the property.

Brief scores: Kolkata Tigers 165 for seven in 20 overs (AbhishekJhunjhunwala 62, Lance Klusener 38, Andrew Hall three for 37) beat Chandigarh Lions 143 in 18.2 overs (Tejinder PalSingh 34, Manish Sharma 23, Abu Nachim four for 27, Andre Adams three for 22, Nantie Hayward two for 17).

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