Irfan Pathan’s 18-ball fifty in vain as World Giants squeeze past India Maharajas into Legends League Cricket final
Former Australia pacer Brett Lee defended seven runs in the final over – giving away only 2 runs and prized out the wicket of Irfan Pathan to fashion a five-run win for the World Giants and lifted them into the Leagends League Cricket final.
Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan blasted the fastest fifty of the ongoing Legends League Cricket (LLC) 2022 but failed to lift India Maharajas past World Giants in Muscat on Thursday (January 27). Chasing 229 to win, Irfan got the Maharajas to the doorstep of victory by smashing 56 off 21 balls studded with six sixes.
However, former Australia pacer Brett Lee defended seven runs in the final over – giving away only 2 runs and prized out the wicket of Irfan to fashion a five-run win for the Giants and lifted them into the LLC final.
Earlier, Naman Ojha came up with a brilliant 95 while captain Yusuf Pathan scored a quick-fire 45 as well. Lee got Irfan first ball and defended the score, helping the Giants to a nail-biting win with Rajat Bhatia getting run-out off the penultimate ball.
India Maharajas had won the toss and decided to bowl first. Munaf Patel castled Kevin Pietersen for just 11 before Phil Mustard and Herschelle Gibbs added 98 runs for the second-wicket stand. Former South Africa opener Gibbs took the attack on the Maharajas bowlers smashing 89 off 49 balls at a strike rate of 193. His knock included seven fours and as many sixes as it powered his team to a mammoth total of 228/5.
Despite losing Wasim Jaffer and Subramaniam Badrinath early, the chase was still alive as wicket-keeper batter Naman Ojha (95) and Yusuf Pathan (45) added 103 runs for the second wicket stand.
After Yusuf was dismissed in the 13th over, Stuart Binny followed soon but Ojha kept his team in the hunt, but he fell agonisingly short of a second ton in the tournament after being caught by Morne Morkel off Ryan Sidebottom in the 15th over.
Brief Scores: World Giants 228/5 (Herschelle Gibbs 89, Phil Mustard 57, Kevin O’Brien 34; Munaf Patel 2/36) bt India Maharajas 223/7 (Naman Ojha 95, Irfan Pathan 56, Yusuf Pathan 45; Morne Morkel 2/37, Ryan Sidebottom 2/44)