20220925 174537

Legends League Cricket got off to a real start as India Maharajas won the charity match

thehourlynews 3 weeks ago 0
20220925 174537

When Maharaj Sourav Ganguly of Kolkata presented the winning trophy to India Maharajas at the majestic Eden Gardens on Friday, it kicked off the 2022 Legends League Cricket being held in India for the first time.

The City of Joy witnessed an exciting T20 special benefit match between the India Maharajas and the World Giants. The Maharajas, captained by Harbhajan Singh, chased a target of 171 runs in 18.4 overs and won the match by six wickets. Tanmay Srivastava and Yusuf Pathan starred at bat for Maharajas with half a century, while Pankaj Singh turned back the years with his mid-paced bowling, taking 5/26.

Proceeds from the match, a portion of India’s 75th Independence Day celebrations, will go to Kapil Dev’s Khusii Foundation, which supports girls’ education. While India’s former captain and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly presented the trophy to winning captain Harbhajan, India’s former manager and match commissioner Ravi Shastri presented the Match Legend trophy to Pankaj Singh.

“It was very special to play at Eden Gardens. He was a bit worried about playing after such a long time. But, in the end, everything worked out. I am very happy to see so many legends play,” said Harbhajan after the match.
Although it was a special benefit match, make no mistake, it was an impressive affair, true to the T20 mood. The performance of the players, who were not willing to give an inch without a fight, added to the charm of the contest.

Whether it was Kevin O’Brien’s recklessness or Pankaj’s measured bowling or Yusuf turning back the clock with his muscular strikes, it seemed the stars were still absolutely ready to break into any top T20 team in the world. It was also an indication of what awaits fans once the league stage kicks off on Saturday, with a match between Gautam Gambhir’s India Capitals and Sehwag’s Gujarat Giants at the Eden.

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The Maharajas’ chase did not start on a good note as Sehwag was out in the first over. They lost their first three wickets cheaply, but once Yusuf got to the crease, he changed the face of the match.
The eldest of the Pathan brothers joined the hand of the southpaw Tanmay to unleash a flurry of blows as the maharajas trotted towards the target.

Yusuf and Irfan eventually ended the persecution clinically. Irfan hit three sixes, one of them bringing in the winning runs, during his fiery 9-ball 20 unbeaten innings. Yusuf was not left out with 50 of 35 balls with five limits and two sixes.

The World Giants, who chose to bat first, got off to the perfect start with their starters, O’Brien and Henry Masakadza, creating a 50-run partnership in Powerplay overs. O’Brien hit nine limits and a six in his 31-ball innings.

But the real drama was reserved for the latter part of the Giants’ innings. After 19 overs, the Giants were 170/5, ready to hit the big shots on the last six balls.

But former India pacemaker Pankaj had other plans. He scalped three wickets without giving up a single run to hurt the Giants’ ambition for a higher total.

What more do you need from a T20 match!

Brief scores: World Giants 170/8 in 20 ovs (Kevin O’Brien 52, Denesh Ramdin 42 no; Pankaj Singh 5/26). India Maharajas 175/4 at 18.4 ovs (Tanmay Srivastava 54, Yusuf Pathan 50 no). The Maharajas won by 6 wickets.

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