The law of averages caught up with the Lahore Badshahs as their winning streak came to an end with Hyderabad Heroes registering a nailbiting six-run victory in the first match of the best-of-three-match final of the ICL 20Twenty Challenge on Friday.
Lahore Badshahs, who were unbeaten in the tournament so far, found the goings tough for the first time and eventually bucked under pressure.
Chasing 144 for victory, Badshahs who were not at their best in the last two games, quickly found themselves in trouble as they were reduced to 50 for four in 9.4 overs. Stuart Binny, who went wicketless in all previous games came good at the right time, picking prized scalps of in-form Hasan Raza and skipper Inzaman-up-Haq. And once they saw the back of Inzaman-up-Haq, Badshahs hopes were well and truly over. But a quickfire innings of 34 from just 15 balls by Azhar Mahmood gave them some hope, but some brilliant death bowling by Adbul Razzaq saw the Heroes sneak to a thrilling win.
Earlier, Lahore Badshahs bowlers did well to restrict Hyderabad Heroes to a modest total of 143 for six. Heroes' batsmen blew away the advantage after Chris Harris won the toss and opted to bat on a good batting track. They got off to a reasonably good start with openers Jimmy Maher (33) and Abdul Razzaq (21) putting up 37-run stand for the opening wicket. Once they both were dismissed, rest of the batsmen failed to keep up the pace.
Final (1st match): Hyderabad Heroes 143 for 6 (J Maher 33, A Rayudu 44; Naved-ul-Hasan 2-47) bt Lahore Badshahs 137 for 8 in 19.5 overs (Taufeeq Umar 43*, Azhar Mahmood 34; Abdul Razzaq 2-18, S Binny 2-19).
For 3rd place: Superstars186-4 (R Sathish 86, G Vignesh 40, A Nechim 3-28) beat Tigers 154 all out in 18.4 overs (D Dasgupta 34, C McMillan35, T Kumaran 3-12) by 32 runs.