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The third match of the Edelweiss 20s Challenge being played at Panchkula, featured the defending champions Chennai Superstars take on one of the formidable challengers Lahore Badshahs, making their debut on the ICL platform. The Superstars captain R Satish won the toss and elected to bat on what looked like a hard surface with a tinge of grass cover on it. The Lahore Badshahs beat the defending champions Chennai Superstars by 5 wickets in an exciting match at Panchkula. Inzaman was declated Man of the Match.

The superstars batting was opened by Ian Harvey and Michel Bevan ,who got off to a slow start because of some high quality seam bowling from the new ball pair of Azhar Mahmood & Rana Naved assisted by great ground fielding by the Lahore Badshahs boys . By the fifth over the superstars were struggling at 22/1 with their main batsman Ian Harvey back in the dugout. Naved soon got R Arnold cheaply which brought the inform Hemang Badani to the middle. Soon Badani & Bevan got into the repair act with Badani opening his shoulders hitting consecutive boundaries of Riaz Afridi in the 7th over .

By the 11th over the superstars were placed at 62/2 with both batsmen trying to build a fruitful partnership. Unfortunately the partnership could not last long with Badani run out in the 14thover leaving the Superstars at 82/3 .

Superstars captain R Satish did not last long, perishing early trying to increase the Run rate . By the 15th over the Chennai Superstars were placed at 99/4 . Bevan's wonderful innings of 56 which was the highlight of the Superstars batting finally came to an end in the 19th over from Saqlain. The Superstars innings finally ended at 157/6 with a late charge from J. Syed Mohammed who got 15 off only 5 balls .

The Badshahs reply was led by the two Imrans, Farhat & Nazir . Nazir got into the act right away hitting two consecutive boundaries of Tamil Kumaran in the 3rd over.

Soon both the openers showed their class displaying some powerful strokes all around the ground, till Tamil Kumaran got the first break for the Superstars, clean bowling Imran Farhat for 20 . Satish brought on his most successful bowler T Kumaran as first change in the fifth over and he responded immediately getting the dangerous Imran Nazir & Hasan Raza of consecutive deliveries.

At the end of the fifth over the Chennai Superstars were right back in the match reducing the Badshahs at 32/3 , thanks to an inspired first maiden over laced with a couple of wickets from T Kumaran . T Kumaran was bowling a inspired spell getting Hummayun Farhat in his second over , reducing the Badshahs to 47/4 . At the end of the 10th over the Badshahs were delicately placed at 63/4 . Inzamam was let off with a stumping chance off the bowling of Syed in the 11thover. Naved Latif & Inzamam started the repair work for the Badshahs taking the score to 107/4 at the end of the 15 overs. At this stage Badshahs needed 51 off 30 balls at over 10 runs per over.

Inzamam was showing his class dispatching the Ian Harvey for some big hits in the 16th over but Harvey got back getting the dangerous Naved Latif for 41 in the same over. Inzamam was batting in the zone taking the level of batting displayed at the Edelweiss 20s challenge to a completely new level . Finally the class of Inzamam saw the Lahore Badshahs romp home in the last over in company of the experienced Azhar Mahmood.

Brief scores: (Chennai Superstars 157/6 , M Bevan 56 , H Badani 30, J Syed Mohammed 15 , R Naved 2/19 ) Lost to Lahore Badshahs by 5 wickets ( Lahore Badshahs ,158/5 Inzamam Ul Haq 50 , Naved Latif 41 , T. Kumaran 3/22)

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Inzamam was my favorite Pakistani Cricketer in ODI matches. Especially I like his cover drive which no body can stop this beautiful shot. Today I am really very happy when I have come to know about his bating in this match.

Inzamam, the captain of the new outfit that consists only of Pakistan players, starred with an unbeaten 43-ball 50 to anchor the chase of 158, which at one stage looked improbable after T Kumaran had struck thrice to leave the Badshahs reeling at 47 for 4.

Inzamam, who has pulled off rescue acts many a time for Pakistan, paced his innings perfectly: he was happy with the singles at the start, and cut out the risk of attempting boundaries, before shifting gears when it mattered. Inzamam's easy approach had a nice foil in the cameo from former Pakistan batsman Naved Latif, who scored 41 off just 26 and was instrumental in changing the tone of the Badshahs' chase.

Best of Luck Inzamam....

Bilal - HiPakistan sports
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