Riding on Irfan Pathan’s all-round effort India Legends registered their second successive victory in as many matches in Match No.3 of the Road Safety World Series at the DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai, on Tuesday night. After picking up all important wicket of in-form Romesh Kaluwitharana, 37-year-old Pathan smashed an entertaining 31-ball 57 not out to help India Legends beat Sri Lanka Legends by five wickets. Also Read - It's For BCCI to Answer Whether MS Dhoni Should Play For India Again, Says Irfan Pathan
India Legends chased down a total of Lanka’s 138, achieving the target with eight balls to spare. They had a difficult start to their chase as they lost openers Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and two-drop Yuvraj Singh at the score of 19. Also Read - Sachin Tendulkar to Donate Rs 50 Lakh in Fight Against Coronavirus Pandemic
It needed a special partnership for an India victory. Mohammad Kaif with Sanjay Bangar tried to bring the team back on track with a 43-run stand. However, SL’s left-arm spinner Rangana Herath got the scalp of Bangar putting India in further trouble. Kaif, who looked good in the middle, too, returned after scoring 46. Also Read - COVID19: Irfan, Yusuf Pathan do ''Their Bit'', Donate Face-Masks Amid Coronavirus Scare
India needed a Pathan special and the man from Vadodara delivered with quick fire half century that included three sixes and six hits to the fence. Pathan along with Manpreet Singh Gony changed the course of the game hitting 26 runs in the 16th over of Farveez Maharoof before finishing the match in Tillakratne Dilshan’s over taking India to 139 for five in 18.4 overs.
Earlier, Munaf Patel showed why he was a vital cog in the Indian team line-up during his international playing days. His accuracy with seam movements once again reaped major dividends when he scalped four for 19 for India Legends to restrict Sri Lanka Legends for 138 for the loss of eight wickets in 20 overs. Besides Patel, all the other bowlers chipped in with a wicket apiece barring left-arm spinner Pragan Oha.
After winning the toss for second successive time captain Tendulkar chose to field again. However, the Lankans managed a decent start with openers Dilshan and Romesh Kaluwitharana getting 46 for the first wicket. The latter was as devastating as he was in the earlier game.
Pathan, who opened the bowling with Zaheer Khan, was at the receiving end of Kaluwitharana’s wrath having being whacked for successive boundaries in the second over. However, Munaf drew the first blood by scalping Dilshan in the seventh over. As Kaluwitharana was going good, Pathan bounced back to dismiss him by trapping him LBW with a beautiful in-swing delivery for 23.
The legendary Marvan Atapattu followed him soon after wicket-keeper Sameer Dighe took a brilliant diving catch off Manpreet Singh Gony’s bowling. The Indian bowlers kept it tight at both ends and kept taking wickets at regular intervals. Barring Kaluwitharana and Chamara Kapugedara none of the visiting side batsman could score beyond 20.