Gurgaon, Oct 26 (UNI) A magnificent bowling display by Ali Murtaza guided Delhi Giants to a comprehensive six wicket victory over Lahore Badshahs at the Tau Devi Lal stadium here tonight.
The left-armer from Uttar Pradesh, who was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match for his efforts, turned in a superb performance, claiming four wickets for just seven runs off his four overs.
Lahore captain Inzamam-ul-Haq won the toss and elected to bat. But the decision backfired as the the Pakistanis failed to get going, losing wickets at regular intervals.
Delhi pacer T Sudhindra struck the first blow, sending back Imran Nazir in the fourth over. Murtaza came on in the place of Shane Bond in the seventh over and had an immediate impact, sending back Imran Farhat (16) with his very first ball.
The former Pakistan opener tried to go for the maximum but failed to clear Bond at long on.
Murtaza then picked up the wickets of Humayun Farhat (7), Shahid Yousuf (2) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (12) to reduce Lahore Badshahs to 63 for five in the 13th over.
However, the experienced Azhar Mahmood (67 not out) and Hafiz Khalid (20 not out) steadied the boat for the Badshahs, scoring at a brisk pace to take the Pakistanis to a respectable total of 147 runs.
In reply, the Giants were off to a shaky start, losing the wicket of Marvan Atapattu (4) in the second over. Monish Mishra (7) was dismissed by Mehmood in the very next over and when Shahid Nazir sent Dhruv Mahajan's (19) off-stump cartwheeling, the Delhi was in a spot of bother with the score at 52 for three.
However, Abbas Ali and Abhinav Bali then took charge and took their team team towards the target in a steady and sure manner.
The duo put on partnership of 80 runs in 11 overs to take the Delhi boys to a safe position. The partnership was finally broken when Ali was stumped off the bowling of Inzamam-ul-Haq.
Ali who scored 52 runs off 46 balls, hit four boundaries and a six.
Bali (47 not out) and skipper Paul Nixon (4 not out) then ensured that the Giants comfortably reached the target with nine balls to spare.
Brief scores: Lahore Badshahs: 147/5 (Azhar Mahmood 67 not out; Murtaza 4/7) Delhi Giants: 148/4 (Abbas Ali 52, Abhinav Bali 47 not out) UNI AB RSA HT2342