Atapattu lands Delhi Jets into semi-finals

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Panchkula, Dec 12 (UNI) A captain's knock of 64 by Sri Lankan Marvan Atapattu and his unbeaten 54-run association with Paul Nixon (18) for the fifth wicket piloted Delhi Jets into semi-final with six points from five outings as they stun Chennai Superstars by six wickets with four balls to spare in the Indian Cricket League Twenty20 Championship at the Tau Devi Lal Sports here today.

Required to score 174 for victory, Atapattu guided his team to six-wicket victory in 19.2 overs as Delhi Jets reached their destination at 178, with the winning stroke coming from the bat of Paul Nixon who hit Ian Harvey for a four at long off boundary.

The turning point of the match came in the 17th and 18th overs which produced 28 runs and titled the balance in Delhi Jets, favour. In the 17th over, Atapattu lifted Tamil Kumaran for a deep-mid wicket fence for a huge six and dispatched Kumaran's fifth ball over the bowler's head for four.

The 18th over fetched Delhi Jets 18 runs. Atapattu lifted Thiru Kumaran over midwicket fence for six. Of the last ball of the same over, Nixon drove Thiru Kumaran to square boundary and Jets raced to 173 for 4, requiring just three runs in the last over. Nixon hit the winning stroke with a four of Ian Harvey's second ball. Atapattu's unbeaten knock contained six fours and two sixes in just 43 balls. Nixon's undefeated 18 came in 15 balls with the help of two fours.

Taufeeq Umar (20) and Mohnish Mishra (37) had given Jets a flying start by putting on 62 runs for the opening wicket.

Earlier, Chennai Superstars scored 174 for 6 in 20 overs. Opener Ian Harvey, who is the topscorer of the tournament so far with 207 runs in five innings, today contributed 30 runs before he was run out. He faced just 20 deliveries and hit two fours and one six.

Chris Read (37, 3x1) and Rajagopal Satish (29, 3x1) were their other main scorers.

After completion of the 14th match, Chennai Superstars, Delhi Jets and Chandigarh Lions have six points each and they have played five matches each.

They have qualified for semi-finals. The remaining teams in the fray for the fourth semi-final spot are Kolkata Tigers (4 pts), Hyderabad Hereos (4) and Mumbai Champs (2).

SCOREBOARD CHENNAI SUPERSTARS: Ian Harvey run out (Taufeeq Umar) 30 Ganapathi Vignesh c T Sudhindra b A Nabi 18 Chris Read c Prakash Yadav b D Benkenstein 37 Hemang Badani st P Nixon b Ali Murtaza 14 Hemant Kumar st P Nixon b Ali Murtaza 9 Rajagopal Sathish run out (Abass Ali) 29 Vasanth Saravanan not out 20 Sridharan Sriram not out 6 Extras (lb 2, w 9) 11.

Total (for 6 wkts in 20 overs): 174.

Fall of wickets: 1-32, 2-66, 3-100, 4-116, 5-122, 6-160.

Bowling Shalabh Srivastava 4-0-47-0 Taduri Sudhindra 2-0-6-0 Abid Nabi 3-0-34-1 Jai Prakash Yadav 4-0-32-0 Ali Murtaza 4-0-24-2 Dale Benkenstein 3-0-29-1.

DELHI JETS: Taufeeq Umar st C Read b T. Kumaran 20 Mohnish Mishra c G Vignesh b T. Kumaran 37 Marvan Atapattu not out 64 Abbas Ali b S Sriram 17 Jai Prakash Yadav c R Jesuraj b H Badani 11 3 Paul Nixon not out 18 Extras (lb 2, w 8. nb 1) 11.

Total (for 4 wickets n 19.2 overs) 178.

Fall of wickets: 1-62, 2-64, 3-111, 4-124.

Bowling Rajamani Jesuraj 3-0-25-0 Tamil Kumaran 4- 0- 37- 0 Ganapathi Vignes 1-0 -16- 0 Ian Harvey 3.2- 0- 35- 0 T. Kumaran 4-0 -31-2 Sridharan Sriram 2- 0-14-1 Vasanth Saravanan 1- 0-5-0 Hemang Badani 1-0 -13-1.


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