Hyderabad Heroes v Lahore Badshahs, ICL, Hyderabad
Hyderabad win after the lights go out
Hyderabad Heroes 165 for 6 (Rayudu 58) beat Lahore Badshahs 30 for 2 by the VJD method
The opening game of the ICL came to an abrupt halt as the lights failed and the Hyderabad Heroes were awarded an 18-run win by the VJD method. At 10.57 PM, six overs into the chase, the ground plunged into darkness - a power cut that affected much of the surrounding area - and the game was eventually called off at 11.40 PM.
The evening had started brightly with a simple and short opening ceremony that ended with fireworks.
Razzaq started the entertainment with two fierce square cuts off Mohammad Sami in the second over of the innings. The first whizzed over backward point, the second flew right over the point boundary. But Sami had his revenge in the same over when he induced Razzaq into a nick behind.
Ambati Rayudu ensured the hosts put up a competitive score. The highlight of his stay was a nonchalant pick-up shot over midwicket boundary against Shahid Nazir. While Rayudu attacked, Jimmy Maher, the opening batsman, stitched up one end and rotated the strike neatly. Rayudu's big hits were greeted by swaying cheerleaders and a delighted home crowd - 20,000 people had packed into the stadium.
In all this razzmatazz there was a bit of nostalgia too in the form of Saqlain Mushtaq. That familiar exchange of the ball between the palms, the stuttering run-up, the high left-arm as he gets into a side-on position, and the familiar release - they were all still intact. Even the old accuracy remained till Rayudu spoiled it in Saqlain's third over with two sixes: the first was hoisted over midwicket and the next one, a doosra, over long-off. Later in the chase another former Pakistan great was seen in action; Inzamam-ul-Haq square-drove and then played a characteristic punch off the back foot. However the technical glitch served as an anti-climax to the season-opener.