Doha (Qatar), 15 March Captains Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa’s stunning 159-match unbeaten start partnership powers Indian Maharajas’ fourth match at the Legends League Cricket (LLC) Asian City Cricket Masters 10-wicket win over Asian Lions Stadium, here.
The opener lit up the stadium and devastated the Asian Lions’ attack as Uthappa hit an unbeaten 88 off 39 balls for 11 boundaries and five sixes, while Gambhir hit 36 off 12 boundaries Shot an unbeaten 61 balls.
The Indian Maharaja, who opted to go first, limited the Asian Lions to 157 balls in five of 20 overs. For the Asian Lions, Upul Tharanga hit 69 off 48 balls with seven boundaries and two sixes, while Tillakaratne Dilshan scored 32 off 27 balls with four boundaries and six. Together, they combined for 73 opening attempts in 8.4 points, but it was in vain on Tuesday night.
India Maharajas started the match by beating their left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan, who conceded just three runs in the first round. The first boundary of the day came from opener Upul Tharanga, who fluidly pushed Ashok Dinda into the cover. Opener Tillakaratne Dilshan also screened for Dinda’s breakout in the same over. Pathan’s third was equally good and only lost by four. Dilshan lifted Dinda to another boundary at the fence of the middle wicket, slowly but surely building a strong opening partnership.
Stuart Binney’s first pitch in the fifth was well cut to the back point fence by Talanga. Tharanga escaped being chased to the outside edge of the third over when goalkeeper Robin Uthappa dropped him on 21. Tharanga celebrated his escape by picking a long-legged boundary for his next delivery. 16 runs were over when Dilshan also hit Binny to the square leg fence.
Yusuf Pathan came out in the sixth and Tharanga hit the second ball to the cover point fence to set up a 50-run partnership at the end of the power play. Irfan Pathan re-emerged in the seventh to check run flow, which he did, allowing only six runs. India Maharajas introduced their striker bowler Harbhajan Singh in the eighth innings and he too conceded just five runs.
Dilshan hit Binny’s second and third overs for a square leg over six runs. Then Binny hit the fourth ball, forcing Dilshan to cut at 32 and Irfan Pathan to catch in the undersized third. Mohammad Hafiz swung wildly on an accurate Harbhajan, missed the fifth bowl of the tenth innings, and was awarded a penalty leg of 2 before the wicket.
The heroes of their first two games joined Talanga as the Asian Lions beat Miesbach Ulhak 76-2 at halfway through. Underage 51-year-old leg spinner Pravin Tambe took Misbah’s valuable wicket and was brilliantly knocked down a duck by wicketkeeper Uthappa. Now the run flow started to drop and Harbhajan dropped just one run from the 12th inning. Asghar Afghan pitched for the first time in Tambe’s 15th inning, hitting a long over six. Tharanga reached his half century off 41 balls with six boundaries but Asghar Afghan got 15 legs ahead of Raina.
Tharanga hit Tambe’s consecutive sixes in the 17th over and swept his boundary in consecutive balls. He then hit Raina for another six, but while attempting another similar shot, he was conceded by Manvinder Bisla for a long 69.
Abdul Razzaq, known for his big shots, hit Dinda, knocked the ball over the line to the back point, and hit six in a row to finish with 17 overs Unbeaten on 27 off the ball, with two boundaries and two sixes. This also ensured that the Asian Lions have run more than 150 games in total. It ended with an overall score of 157/5 out of 20 points.
India Maharajas, on the other hand, were brutal as they chased goals with their steady scorer and captain Gambhir and Song Uthappa. They confidently negotiated the pace of Sohail Tanvir and Mohammad Amir, with Uthappa picking two boundaries in Amir’s second over.
Gambhir’s elegant screen drive from Tanvir in the third over was one to watch. He followed it up with two more consecutive boundaries. The 20 overs were over when Uthappa also hit the last ball of Tanvir’s third ball, over the screen boundary. He also threw three wides in a row in that game.
Outspinner Mohammad Hafiz was brought in in the fifth inning, hoping to check the run flow. Gambhir registered a 50-run opening partnership in five overs, hitting two consecutive boundaries off Hafeez’s fifth and sixth balls.
Left-arm spinner Abdul Razak, who had a solid performance against the World Giants in Game 3, played in Game 6. Uthappa cut him to the boundary and hit the boundary twice on the fifth and sixth deliveries to make it past 14 points. Thus, Game of Thrones yielded 65 runs.
Shoaib Akhtar hit the seventh inning to the cheers of the crowd. Uthappa pulled his fourth and final delivery across the border, with some in the crowd shouting what had happened to his delivery. Hafiz bowled in the ninth innings and was pulled over the center wicket by Usapala for three straight sixes into the stands, taking just 27 balls into his half-century. He also picked a boundary and ran for 23 points on it. The onslaught on Isuru Udana continued as Uthappa and Gambhir easily picked the border.
At the halfway point, the Indian Maharaja needed just 33 runs from the last 60 balls. Gambhir scored his half-century off 32 balls and led his side to victory with 45 spares.
Brief score: Asian Lions 157 balls from 5 in 20 games (Upul Tharanga 69, Tillakaratne Dilshan 32; Suresh Raina 2/16) 159/0 in 12.3 games against Indian Maharaja (Robin Uthappa 88 not Out, Gautam Gambhir 61 not out) 10 wickets.
play free online games
Recommended: Sports Management Course