Raipur: With an unbeaten ton from Naman Ojha and top-class spells from Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun, India Legends clinch their second-straight Road Safety World Series title by defeating Sri Lanka Legends by 33 runs in final at Raipur on Saturday. Nama Ojha’s century knock earned him the ‘Man of the Match’ title.
In the first innings, India put up a huge 195/6 in 20 overs, thanks to a superb 108* off 71 balls by Naman Ojha. Nuwan Kulasekara (3/29) led the Sri Lankan bowling charts with his spell that provided both economy and key wickets. Chasing 196, it was only Ishan Jayaratne (51) who was able to provide a powerful resistance against Indian bowlers, led by Vinay Kumar (3/38).
Chasing 196, pacer Vinay and spinners Rajesh Power and Stuart Binny destroyed SL-L top order consisting of some famous legends, sending back Dilshan Munaweera (8), Sanath Jayasuriya (5), captain Tillakaratne Dilshan (11) and Upul Tharanga (10) reducing the side to 41/4. Asela Gunaratne and Jeevan Mendis helped Sri Lanka cross the 50-run mark. A partnership started to blossom between them. In-form Yusuf Pathan broke this stand, Gunaratne was sent back for just 19 off 17 balls. Moments later, Mendis was run out by duo of Ojha and Binny for 20 off 11 balls. Half of the SL team was back in the hut for 85 runs.
Ishan Jayaratne and Mahela Udawatte were the next pair to take the chase forward, helping their side cross the 100-run mark. They left Indian bowlers searching for wickets, stitching a 63-run stand. Mithun dismissed Udawatte for 26 off 19 balls, reducing Lankans to 148/7 and they still needed 48 runs in 16 balls. Jayaratne eventually fell for 51 off 22, consisting of four boundaries and four sixes after being trapped lbw by Vinay Kumar. Vinay took the winning wicket, dismissing Dhanmika Prasad for a golden duck and ending SL’s stay at the crease at 162 runs in 18.5 overs. Vinay (3/38) and Mithun (2/27) punctured SL’s hopes by taking crucial wickets. Rajesh, Binny, Yusuf and Rahul Sharma took one wicket each.
Earlier, choosing to bat first, with pacer Nuwan Kulasekara trapping captain Sachin Tendulkar (0) and Suresh Raina, leaving the defending champions struggling at 19/2. Ojha got the support of Vinay Kumar and two helped India Legends breach the 100-run mark. A 90-run partnership was formed between them. Jayaratne put an end to it by dismissing Vinay for 36 off 21 balls. India was at 109/3 in 11.3 overs. Yuvraj Singh was next up on crease and he hit some delightful shots, entertaining the audience, he formed a partnership with Ojha, who scored a century. Kulasekara got his third wicket of the match, dismissing Yuvraj for 19 off 13 balls. Isuru Udana next got the Pathan brothers, Irfan for 11 and Yusuf for 0, ending India Legends innings at 195/6 in 20 overs, with Ojha (108*) and Binny (8*) unbeaten. Kulasekara (3/29) and Udana (2/34) were the key bowlers for Lanka. Jayaratne (1/44) got one scalp too.