Indian Legends created history when they lifted Road Safety World Series Trophy on Sunday. The veterans once again defeated Sri Lanka Legends to get hands on the prestigious silverware. And while this is the inaugural edition of the tournament, it restarted after a year, courtesy of COVID-19 pandemic. The game commenced with Indian Legends losing the toss as Sri Lanka opted to bowl first. And the visitors nearly made their decision count with the way innings opened, but at the end of the day, it was Indian Legends who got away with the win.
Yuvraj and Yusuf take fans down the memory lane
Opening the innings, India faced an early setback as Virender Sehwag was dismissed at mere 10 runs. Following him, legend Sachin Tendulkar came on the crease and did play some classic strokes, but in vain, as he had to walk back to pavilion at 30 runs. Master Blaster’s wicket had just shocked the fans when Badrinath followed the same route after adding 10 runs on the board. Wickets in quick succession stunned fans and team alike, however, it was not over yet.
As they say, heroes often enter late, Yuvraj Singh took to pitch when India were in dire need. The Punjab stalwart immediately started making the impact as he smashed flurry of boundaries. The all-rounder completed 60 runs from just 41 balls to boost India’s score. And while Yuvraj did not finish his innings unbeaten, his impact certainly ignited Yusuf Pathan.
The senior Pathan helped not only Yuvraj to play his natural game, but added runs from the other end to put opposition in pressure. He remained unbeaten with score of 62 runs from 36 balls with 5 maximums and 4 fours. Contributing 85 runs from 47 balls, the late partnership helped India finish innings at a high score of 181/4.
Legends with bat, legends with ball – Pathan Brothers
Following a great score on the board, it was time for Indian Legends to put same performance with the ball. However, Lanka veterans were not the ones to give up, and started innings patiently. The visitors went on to build their innings till 8th over before spin trap got better of them. And the first wicket, the much-needed magical moment came from none other than Yusuf Pathan! The veteran trapped highest run-scorer of the tournament – Tilakaratne Dilshan in hands of Naman Ojha. The game well and truly opened from this point on for Indian Legends. Walking into the footsteps of brother, Junior, aka Irfan Pathan dismissed Chamara Silva just 5 deliveries after Dilashan’s wicket. However, Sanath Jayasuriya still stood high for his team as he went on to score 43 runs before again getting LBW dismissal on Yusuf Pathan’s delivery.
Following Yusuf Pathan’s second wicket, India were in joy, but still had Upul Tharanga, the potential highest run-scoring candidate in the tournament. However, the Sri Lankan ended his tournament as second best run scorer after skipper Dilshan as Irfan Pathan sent him back to pavilion for just 13 runs. At this point, Sri Lanka had nothing more to lose and decided to make it wild. The Lankans paced up their innings in death overs Kaushalya Weeraratne smashed 38 runs from 15 balls before getting dismissed by MS Gony. Chinthaka Jayasinghe kept on pushing the innings as he remained unbeaten till the very end. All-rounder managed to hit 38* runs from 28 balls, but team fell short of target by 13 runs.
So, when we thought Kohli-led man had given us a thriller against England, veterans once again set the milestone. And while Indian Legends once again repeated the history after a decade-long wait, the nostalgia invoked shall remain with us forever.