Sachin Tendulkar-led India Legends defeated Tillakaratne Dilshan’s Sri Lanka Legends by 14 runs and emerged champions in the inaugural season of the Road Safety World Series T20 tournament in Raipur yesterday.
India Legends scored 181 for 4 in 20 overs after Dilshan won the toss and opted to bowl. In reply, the Sri Lankan side were restricted to 167 for 7, despite Sanath Jayasuriya’s 43 off 35 balls and a late blitz from Chinthaka Jayasinghe who scored 40 off 30.
After a quiet first over, Sri Lanka Legends’ openers plundered 38 off the next three overs.
Three runs off the seventh over by Pragyan Ohja however created some pressure and two wickets off consecutive overs reduced Sri Lanka Legends to 68 for 2 in 9 overs.
By then, the required run rate was already over 10 runs an over and Sri Lanka Legends lost two more wickets for 24 runs in four overs.
This left the Sri Lanka Legends needing 90 off 42 balls, and Jayasinghe and fifth-wicket partner Kaushalya Weeraratne teed-off to bring that equation down to a managable 30 off 12 balls.
Manpreet Gony then gave just six runs off the penultimate over, including accounting for the wicket of Weeraratne.
Jayasinghe scored a six off the first ball of the last over, leaving the Sri Lanka Legends needing 24 off the last five balls, but they couldn’t come close as two more wickets saw Sri Lanka end on 167/7 after 20 overs.
Earlier, Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan took the fans back in the old days as the duo stitched a crucial 85-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Yuvraj scored a 41-ball 60 with the help of four maximums and as many boundaries. His innings came to an end in the penultimate over as he was caught by Farveez Maharoof in the deep off Weeraratne.
Yuvraj’s dismissal allowed Irfan Pathan to join his elder brother Yusuf, who remained unbeaten on 62 off 36 deliveries, at the crease. The latter smashed five sixes and four boundaries during his stay at the crease. Irfan, on the other hand, played a quick cameo and scored eight runs off just three deliveries.
The famous opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar managed to put 19 runs for the first wicket before the former was dismissed by Rangana Herath in the third over. Sehwag ended up scoring 10 runs off 12 balls.
Skipper Sachin Tendulkar was then joined by S Badrinath but this partnership couldn’t last long. Jayasuriya struck in the 5th over and trapped India Legends No 3 in front.
Master Blaster Tendulkar, who slammed a half-century against Brian Lara’s West Indies Legends in the semis, was dismissed on 30 by Maharoof in the 11th over.
For Lankans, none of the bowlers were impressive as Rangana Herath, Jayasuriya, Maharoof and Weeraratne took one wicket each.
The tournament’s leading wicket-taker and Sri Lanka’s match-winner Dilshan returned empty-handed, giving away 25 runs in two overs. (With inputs from Hindustan Times)