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Badshahs excel at ICL

Mar 25, 2008
Mar 25, 2008 

The Edelweiss 20s Challenge with multiple venues, two new teams and an improved player base has raised the performance level significantly in comparison to the inaugural ICL 20s. The challenge for the players and the teams to be competitive has been much higher. The entry of an international level outfit like the Lahore Badshahs and their sterling performance by the half way stage of the tournament has made every side take notice.


The Team Standings at half way stage of the Edelweiss 20s Challenge are as follows:


    Lahore Badshahs: With ten points from five straight wins, the Badshahs juggernaut is on the rampage, romping every side in its way with convincing wins. Their batting led by the explosive Farhat and Nazir to the middle order, which includes the likes of Humayun, Raza and Inzamam have been in ominous touch, destroying bowling oppositions of international stature. Their new ball bowlers led by the internationally acclaimed Azhar Mahmood and Ran Naved, ably supported by the wily old fox Mushtaq and quick Sami, has destroyed some formidable batting line-ups in the tournament. The Badshahs have raised the bar and now it is for the other teams to play out of their skin to topple them at the Edelweiss 20s Challenge.


    Chennai Superstars: The defending champions after an indifferent start have stormed right back into the tournament. The heartening fact about the Superstars has been the stupendous performance of their domestic players like Vignesh, Syed and Kumaran. The brilliant Ian Harvey forms the nucleus of the side around who revolve proven domestic performers like Thiru Kumaran, Syed Mohammad and Sathish. The Superstars is a side on the ascendancy and may just be the side to give the Badshahs a run for their money.


    Hyderabad Heroes: The Heroes are another side on the ascendancy. With the new sparkling ICL facility, Lal Bahadur Stadium, the Heroes have taken full advantage of a vociferous home base support to win all their matches in their home venue. In Boje, Kemp and Razzaq, the Heroes possess some of the most dangerous all-rounders in the game. With their domestic players like the prodigal Rayudu, Binny and Absolem coming good in the tournament, the Heroes have proved to be a formidable unit on their home turf and will be one of forerunners to bag the title.


    Chandigarh Lions: The Lions are finding the increased level of competition tough to match at the Edelweiss 20s Challenge. However, like the Heroes, the Lions enjoy home advantage in most of their matches and the return of the charismatic captain Chris Cairns, at the helm of affairs has brought the Lions back into contention. A lot will depend on the performance of domestic players like Mongia, TP Singh and Love Ablish, if the Lions are to progress further in the tournament.


    Kolkata Tigers: The spirited lads from the city of joy, have produced some of the closest encounters seen at the Edelweiss 20s Challenge. Unfortunately for them, the Tigers   have found themselves on the wrong side of victory in most of these cliff hangers. The Tigers are one of the sides that are in the run for one of the hotly contested semi-final spots. Their forthcoming matches' features them taking on tough opponents like the Badshahs, Giants and the Heroes and a lot will depend of the likes of Klusener, Jhunjhunwala and Gavaskar, not to forget their combative captain McMillan to take them into the semi-finals.


    Delhi Giants: The Giants have so far disappointed with their performance, especially looking into the great combination they possess of International stalwarts like Bond, Atapattu with promising domestic players like Abbas Ali, Murtaza, Bali and Mishra. The Giants have two more matches to go against the Heroes and Tigers and both the games are a must win for the boys representing the capital city.


    Ahmedabad Rockets: One of the two new teams on the ICL platform, the Rockets started with a bang upsetting the Lions in their own den, but since then has found the going tough. Though out of contention for the semi finals, the Rockets play the Badshahs and Superstars in their last two matches at the league stage. A side which possesses in its arsenal the likes of Damien Martyn, Heath Streak and Jason Gillespie, would sure like to bombard their more fancied opponents to restore some pride at the Edelweiss 20s Challenge.


    Mumbai Champs: A talented side under the able leadership of Nathan Astle has not been able to deliver the goods at the Edelweiss 20s Challenge. Nearly out of contention for a semi final berth, the Champs play the Lions and Heroes in their remainder two league matches and would like to go all out to upset their formidable opponents.



Report by: Jayshree Kumar


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