Former Pakistan pacer Shabeer Ahmed sparkled with a hat-trick as Chennai Superstars claimed the inaugural ICL Twenty20 tournament after defeating local favourites Chandigarh Lions by 12 runs in the final match on Sunday.
The Lions, chasing 156 for victory, could manage only 143 for eight as a late onslaught by Andrew Hall (30) and Sarabjit Singh (27) failed to save them from defeat at the Tau Devi Lal stadium.
The winning team got richer by Rs 3.9 crore while the runners-up pocketed Rs 1.9 crore. Shabeer first dismissed opener Hamish Marshall (3) having him caught, then bowled dangerous looking Dinesh Mongia (21) and finally trapped Chetan Sharma before the wicket to complete his hat-trick.
Shabeer, had also provided the initial breakthrough to Superstars having opener Imran Farhat (4) caught by Read. Ian Harvey also played an important part in his team's victory as he removed the top order batsmen TP Singh (35) and skipper Chris Cairns (5) to turn the tide in favour of the Superstars.
It was an electric atmosphere as over 10,000 people turned up to watch the final. Looking in a holiday mood, the crowds enjoyed the presence of Bollywood stars like Ajay Devgan, Ayesha Takia and Irfan Khan coupled with top models walking the ramp during the innings break.
Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Administrator General (retd) SF Rodrigues too turned up to catch the exciting moments of the match played under flood lights.
Earlier, put into bat, the Superstars raced to 63 in the seventh over but found themselves on backfoot as wickets kept tumbling.