Recovering from a middle-order collapse after a brilliant start, Hyderabad Hawks notched up their second consecutive win in the Indian Junior Players League (IJPL) beating Assam Rangers by two wickets at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium here on Friday.
A brilliant spell by young Fahad Nawaz followed by his flawless batting helped the Hawks finish on top in spite of a middle-order batting collapse.
In the other match of the day, Punjab Tigers registered their second win in the tourney, beating Gujarat Greats by 20 runs.
As the inaugural edition of the IJPL entered the fourth day of proceedings, the difference between the top layer and those in the running became crystal clear.
Hyderabad Hawks and Punjab Tigers emerged with clean slates, winning both their matches so far, while Assam Rangers and Gujarat Greats presented a contrasting picture, suffering setbacks in both appearances till now.
Even after the Rangers were off to a good start and set to reach a score of 150 runs, the brakes from Hyderabad Hawks came in the latter half of the innings from Nawaz (3/11) and Sai Vihari (2/6).
The Rangers finished their innings at 122/9 from 20 overs, with major contributions coming from Sambhav Jain (31 off 30 balls), Aneesh Tandon (27 off 22b) and Hrishikesh Das (21 off 19b).
The Hawks started on a solid note through Vikas Murki (51 off 49b) but suffered a sudden chaos in the middle order. However, Nawaz came good with a quickfire 41 off 26 balls to remain unbeaten and take his team to the finishing line.
Meanwhile, Punjab Tigers scampered home with a 20-run win over Gujarat. The Tigers scored 106/9 from their 20 overs with Rishabh (22 off 31b), Sharandeep (18no off 26b) leading from the front, while Gujarat' Mihir Pal finished with a brilliant haul of 5/18.
However, the Gujarat side struggled with the bat and were bundled out for a paltry 86 in 19.4 overs in spite of the rearguard efforts from the trio of Dhairya Pandey (31 off 42b), Nirav (18 off 11b) and Mihir Pal (13 not out off 18b).