Welcome to Sportstar 's Coverage of the Legends League Cricket match between India Maharajas and Asia Lions. This was Lalith Kalidas bringing you the updates as action unfurled at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground in Oman.
The Pathan brothers have rolled back the years as a stellar knock from Yusuf (80 off 40) and an all-round display from Irfan (25*, 2/21) have helped the Maharajas open its campaign on a high. Not to forget the gritty knock from skipper Kaif who held one end brilliantly with an unbeaten 42 in the chase.
IMR 179/4 in 19.1 overs: Kaif lifts the ball over mid-on for FOUR and the Maharajas romp home in style with six wickets in hand.
IMR 175/4 in 19 overs: A single to start as Kaif pushes one to deep mid-wicket. Top-edge from Irfan and it sails over the keeper for SIX! That must calm the nerves for the Maharajas, surely. Excellent timing from Irfan as he guides a wide yorker past backward point for FOUR. Short from Kulasekera and Irfan slams it wide of long-on for another FOUR! Pathan drives to deep cover and sneaks in two runs the scores are level! He fails to score off the last ball and we move into the final over with India requiring one run from it.
Kulasekara to bowl the penultimate. India requires 18 off 12.
IMR 158/4 in 18 overs: Hafeez offers no width to the batters and forces Pathan and Kaif to tread in singles. 18 needed off 12 and the chase might just get tricky from here.
IMR needs 24 runs in 18 balls. Hafeez is back.
IMR 152/4 in 17 overs: A mix-up and Yusuf Pathan is run out! Kaif slashes Murali to deep point and sets off on a second run. Pathan trusts the calls and sets out but a fine through from Asghar Afghan sees the back of Yusuf after a sensational hand of 80 from 40 balls! Brother Irfan has walked in even as Yusuf fumes on his way back to the dug-out. Irfan's off the mark with a single down the ground. Excellent over from Murali to keep the chase in the balance.
IMR needs 29 runs in 24 balls. Murali to continue.
IMR 147/3 in 16 overs: Pathan flicks Mahmood's first delivery past backward square for FOUR. It brings up the 100-run partnership between Pathan and Kaif - purely dominated by Yusuf's blitzkrieg while Kaif's done well to hold his end. Mahmood bangs it in and Pathan drags it down the ground for another FOUR! Four more to Pathan as he flicks the ball off the toe-end through mid-wicket. This has been a procession from Yusuf in a chase that seemed to go down the barrel at an instance for India.
IMR 132/3 in 15 overs: Murali drops the ball short and Yusuf sits on one-leg and tonks it over mid-wicket for FOUR. Kaif's back on strike and Murali sends in a slider that hits the pads. A loud appeal denied but Murali is keen for a review. The ball turns in quickly off the length and prompts Kaif deep into the crease. The replays suggest Umpire's Call on impact and Kaif survives.
IND 123/3 in 14 overs: Hafeez cramps Pathan with a couple of deliveries that angle in. Pathan steps out and sends the ball high and handsome, over long-off for SIX and brings up his fifty in style! What a knock from Yusuf to set the chase in motion for the Maharajas. Another half-tracker from Hafeez and Pathan easily slams to the deep mid-wicket boundary for FOUR.
Hafeez into the attack
IMR needs 65 runs in 42 balls.
IMR 111/3 in 13 overs: Akhtar fires a ball past the tramline and Pathan is displeased that the umpire has not signalled a wide. A single to follow. Kaif walks down the track to Akhtar - yes it's 2022, lads - is beaten convincingly by a quick bumper that whiffs past the outside-edge. Akhtar rolls in a couple of slower-balls and concedes only three runs from the over. He finishes a fine spell - 4-0-21-1.
Akhtar is back
IMR needs 68 runs in 48 balls.
IMR 108/3 in 12 overs: Kulasekara squares up Pathan with a slower yorker that rushes into Pathan's feet. The bowler is interested in an lbw shout but the umpire denies him. Misbah calls for a review and has a chat with his side. Seems like a bit of mix-up there as the umpire does not realise Misbah's call and intimates that he has run out of time for a review. The review has been granted finally and the replays suggest that the ball is sliding down leg. Pathan adds insult to injury as he thwacks Kulasekara's slower bouncer over deep mid-wicket for a handsome SIX. Wow, a wristy flick from Yusuf finds the square leg boundary for FOUR this time. He has turned the game around in a flash!
IMR 93/3 in 11 overs: Murali drops short and Pathan hangs back to slam it over mid-wicket for SIX. He tracks short again and Pathan pushes the ball past cover off the back-foot for FOUR to complete the over.
IMR 79/3 in 10 overs: Pathan with another glorious SIX down the ground. Picks Gul up from the length and waltzes it over the fence as India charges towards the 100-run mark.
Gul to resume
IMR 65/3 in 9 overs: Murali crashes one into the line as Yusuf fails to ace his sweep. A loud shout for lbw and the umpire has raised the finger. Pathan goes for a review and the replays suggest that the ball is sliding down leg-side and missing the stumps. The batters keep a watchful eye as they negotiate Murali who could still prove to be a menace with the ball.
Muttiah Muralidharan into the attack
IMR 60/3 in 8 overs: Kaif picks up the pace as he drills Mahmood for a couple of sizzling drives on either side of the wicket. 10 runs of the over and the Maharajas are on the prowl.
IMR 50/3 in 7 overs: Chopped on, first ball! Gul strikes straightaway as Ojha has dragged the ball to his stumps. India continue to falter in the chase and Yusuf Pathan walks in at no. 5 in the seventh over. Pathan slashes hard and is off the mark with a boundary to third-man. Bang goes Yusuf. Pathan smokes Gul straight down the ground for a massive SIX! Seems like he's hit the top gear already. Gul bumps one in and Pathan pulls it fine to beat the fielder for another FOUR. An over of contrasting fortunes for India.
Naman Ojha b Umar Gul 20(19) [4s-3]
Umar Gul into the attack
IMR 34/2 in 6 overs: Ojha and Kaif continue to nudge about the circle albeit with a couple of streaky strokes. Mahmood concedes six runs and it's the end of the PowerPlay restrictions.
Mahmood replaces Kulasekara
IMR 28/2 in 5 overs: Kaif's timing is all over the place as Akhtar rolls in a slew of slower-ones to keep the captain back in the crease. The Lions are having an excellent PowerPlay and would want to end on a high.
Mohammed Kaif in at 4.
IMR 26/2 in 4 overs: Kulasekara strays to the pads and Ojha flicks it past backward square for FOUR. This time on the off-side as Ojha slices the ball past point for FOUR. He's off strike with a single and it's Badrinath on strike. Badrinath falls for a duck! A direct hit from Muttiah Muralitharan marks him short of his crease. Badri pushes the ball to mid-off and sets off a non-existent single. An excellent take and throw from Murali as Badrinath falls short of his crease and is on his way back. The Maharajas are in for some early trouble. Badrinath run out (Muralitharan) 0(2)
IMR 17/1 in 3 overs: Short from Akhtar and Binny aces the swivel pull for FOUR. A single to follow. Akhtar rushes in a quick bouncer and the ball races over the keeper for FOUR off Ojha's top-edge. Akhtar with a longer run-up and he gets his man. Binny holes out to the man in the deep as he miscues the pull. Akhtar as his man and a subdued celebration follows. The ball sits up from the deck and moves away from Binny's arc as he aims for a slog over the mid-wicket boundary. Upul Tharanga pouches a safe catch and India has lost an early wicket in the chase. Binny c Tharanga b Akhtar 10(7) [4s-1]
IMR 7/0 in 2 overs: Kulasekara cramps Ojha with a couple of deliveries that seams in. A gentle outswinger clips the outside-edge and it's dropped by Akmal! A regulation catch is spilled by the wicketkeeper there and Kulasekara can only offer a wry smile. A huge reprieve for Ojha who was squared up by the bowler.
Kulasekara from the opposite end
IMR 6/0 in 1 over: Akhtar runs in and bangs in a slower-bouncer to Ojha who pushes it down and gets off the mark with a single. Akhtar corrects his run-up, shortens it as he offers another short one to Binny who pulls it past mid-wicket for two runs. Akhtar mixes up his pace from the start, prompting the batters to take an extra second to play him off the length. Six runs off the first over.
Naman Ojha and Stuart Binny open for Maharajas. And the Rawalpindi Express is set to steam in!
Back for the chase. The Lions are out in the middle. Seems like Shoaib Akhtar is all in readiness to start off with the new ball!
A fine start to the tournament with the Asia Lions putting up a daunting total on the board. Neither side was horsing around as the intensity picked up quickly from the first over. The Maharajas struck early with a couple of quick wickets before Upul Tharanga secured one end with a stable fifty. He was soon joined by Misbah, who held fort while Tharanga unleashed his shots towards the finish. The Indians pulled things back with a flurry of wickets as Irfan Pathan and Munaf Patel kept the pressure with top spells. The Maharajas will miss their ballistic stars Sehwag and Yuvraj as they set out for the chase, but with a long order, Kaif's men would back themselves to get the job done.
ALN 175/7 in 20 overs: Misbah whacks Gony over deep mid-wicket for a cracking SIX to start things off. Short again from Gony and Misbah gives the same treatment. Badrinath attempts to complete a catch at the fence but steps on the boundary cushions, another SIX. Gony goes wide outside off and Misbah miscues the slog over cover. Irfan completes a good few yards and tacks a fine catch at extra cover. The skipper departs after an exciting knock of 44. Umar Gul is the new man in. He gets off the mark with a slap through cover for FOUR. Gony keeps it straight on the stumps and hits the timber off the last ball to finish. The Indians are set a hefty 176-run target in the tournament opener.
Misbah c Irfan Pathan b Gony 44(30) [4s-1 6s-4]; Umar Gul b Gony 4(2) [4s-1]
ALN 158/5 in 19 overs: Munaf keeps it tight on length and concedes just five runs from the penultimate over. Gony will up to close of the innings. Can Misbah land a couple of meaty blows?
ALN 153/5 in 18 overs: Binny with a flurry of slower balls. He gets one to spring up and hit Azhar's helmet as he gets a single. Binny drops on the slot and Misbah heaves through the arc and gets a massive SIX storming over the mid-wicket fence. Binny drops short outside off and Azhar cuts it over point and Yusuf Pathan drops a low catch on the run and the ball rolls over for FOUR.
Binny replaces Irfan
ALN 140/5 in 17 overs: Tharanga goes for the slog and holes out to the deep. Venugopal Rao takes a fine catch at deep cover as Tharanga aims to slash the slower bouncer over the fence. Azhar Mahmood comes in at 7. He gets off strike instantly with a single. Short from Munaf again and Misbah rocks back and slams the ball past square leg for FOUR. Tharanga c V Rao b Munaf Patel 66(46) [4s-7 6s-2]
ALN 132/4 in 16 overs: Tharanga continues his march. He steps out to smack Pathan straight down the ground for SIX. Pathan offers a hint of room and Tharanga swings his arms though the off-side for another FOUR past cover as Pathan bowls out.
ALN 120/4 in 15 overs: Tharanga swivels and sends the ball down to the fine leg fence for FOUR. And that's fifty for Tharanga, a well compiled half-century while he's lost partners at regular intervals at the other end.
Gony back after the break
ALN 113/4 in 14 overs: Irfan hits the deck hard and Misbah mistimes the pull. Badrinath leaps to his right and nearly manages to pull off a blinder. The ball brushes his stretched fingers and falls away from his reach. Irfan gestures to Kaif that he wanted the mid-wicket fielder a tad finer. Three runs from the over as we move into the break.
ALN 110/4 in 13 overs: Ojha drops short and Tharanga easily puts him past square leg for FOUR and follows up with a single. Ojha floats one in straight and Misbah nearly chops it back to his stumps. Ojha slides the ball in again and Misbah advances and stomps the ball over long-on for SIX!
ALN 97/4 in 12 overs: Irfan mixes up his lengths perfectly to keep Misbah cramping for room. Excellent over this for India, just four runs from it.
ALN 93/4 in 11 overs: Tharanga glides a loosener outside the off-stump past backward point for FOUR. Rao fends short and Tharanga rocks back and slams it past mid-wicket for another FOUR to complete the over.
Venugopal Rao replaces Ojha
ALN 80/4 in 10 overs: Irfan gets Hafeez first ball! A gentle leg-cutter outside the off-stump and Hafeez guides it straight to Munaf Patel at short third-man! Yousuf in at 5. He's off the mark with a single to point. Tharanga pushes to long-on for a single. Edged and Irfan gets another one! Yousuf departs second ball. Irfan cramps him for room and finds the outside-edge of a ball that gently shapes in to the batter. Ojha takes a fine low catch and Pathan's on a roll already. A hint of swing for Irfan as he finishes the over with an excellent delivery in the blockhole to skipper Misbah who has walked in at 6.
Hafeez c Munaf Patel b Irfan Pathan 16(13) [4s-1 6s-1]; Yousuf c Naman Ojha b Irfan Pathan 1(2)
Irfan Pathan into the attack
ALN 77/2 in 9 overs: Ojha floats one in and bang goes Hafeez down the ground. Shimmies down the pitch and graciously lifts the ball over long-off for SIX. Ojha wafts the ball in and keeps the batters deep in the crease.
ALN 67/2 in 8 overs: Gony to continue and he finds a streaky edge from Hafeez. The ball sits up from the length as Hafeez aims to slog it down the ground. It clips the outside-edge and zips past the keeper for FOUR.
ALN 61/2 in 7 overs: Ojha finds his radar rightaway and the batters resort to singles to keep the scoreboard ticking. Five runs of the over.
Pragyan Ojha into the attack
ALN 56/2 in 6 overs: Gony begins with a wide down leg before Akmal punches him over mid-wicket for SIX. Another wide from Gony. Gony fends short again and this time Akmal finds the deep square leg fielder! Badani it is near the boundary rope who completes a fine catch. Hafeez in at 4. Hafeez gets off strike with a gentle push to short third. Tharanga follows up with an delicate late cut past short third-man for FOUR. Tharanga pulls and Binny puts in an excellent dive to save two runs at the deep mid-wicket fence.
Kamran Akmal c Badani b Gony 25(17) [4s-3 6s-1]
Gony replaces Munaf
ALN 41/1 in 5 overs: Akmal shuffles across the stumps and flicks Binny to deep mid-wicket. A fielder in place and India restricts him to a single. Binny drops on length and Tharanga swivels and pulls him fine for the first SIX of the night.
Binny to continue
ALN 28/1 in 4 overs: Munaf keeps it simple and tight around the stumps. The batters exchange strike with a couple of singles before Tharanga eases into a beautiful drive through cover for FOUR.
ALN 21/1 in 3 overs: Binny keeps it tight on the stumps and induces a streaky stroke from Akmal. He miscues a flick and the leading edge goes straight up and it's dropped by Badrinath at extra cover! He sets himself well beneath it but the ball slips through his cup and to the floor. Akmal follows up with a crunching FOUR through cover.
ALN 16/1 in 2 overs: Munaf attacks the stumps rightaway and Akmal blocks it. Akmal follows up with a wristy flick past mid-on for FOUR. He gets a single and Tharanga opens his account with a drive to deep point.
Munaf Patel from the opposite end
ALN 10/1 in 1 over: Binny starts with a loosener and Dilshan starts with a FOUR through extra cover. All hands on that one as the ball races past extra cover to the fence. A single taken and Akmal's off to a fiery start with a beautiful drive through cover for FOUR. Akmal pushes the ball to mid-on and gets off strike. Dilshan goes for the scoop and there's a loud shout from Binny. The umpire denies and India reviews. THREE REDS on replay and Dilshan's on his way. Binny has struck with a straighter one after a wry start. Tharanga replaces his former teammate. Dilshan lbw b Binny 5(3) [4s-1]
Stuart Binny with the new ball for India.
Here we go! The Maharajas led by Kaif have taken the field. Dilshan and Akmal opening for the Asia Lions.
The teams have lined up in the middle. Ravi Shastri and Wasim Akram - Shaz and Waz are here greeting the players ahead of the start of play.
India Maharajas XI: Naman Ojha (w), S Badrinath, Hemang Badani, Venugopal Rao, Mohammad Kaif (c), Yusuf Pathan, Stuart Binny, Irfan Pathan, Pragyan Ojha, Manpreet Gony, Munaf Patel - Yuvraj, Sehwag and Bhajji miss out tonight!
Asia Lions XI: Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kamral Akmal (w), Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah Ul Haq (c), Azhar Mahmood, Mohammad Hafeez, Nuwan Kulasekara, Shoaib Akhtar, Muttiah Muralitharan, Umar Gul
7:43PM IST: Interesting to note that we have four women officials to overlook the proceedings tonight.
TOSS: India wins toss, opts to bowl.
TOSS TIME! Mohammed Kaif leading India and Misbah representing the Asia Lions.
7:15PM IST: We're under an hour away from the return of a host of 21st century's most revered cricketers. Who are you rooting for tonight?
In the climax of the Hollywood musical, Mary Poppins Returns, the eponymous English nanny turns the clock, the famed Big Ben of London, back by five minutes. Miss Poppins, played by the delightful Emily Blunt, had the magical powers to do that.
Over the next few days at the Al Amerat Cricket Stadium, the clock will turn several times over in the inaugural edition of the Legends League Cricket. The three teams – India Maharaja, Asia Lions and World Giants – feature some of the all-time cricketing greats.
The teams will play each other twice before the final on January 29.
The Indian team includes Virender Sehwag, who is expected to join after missing the first few games, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Mohammed Kaif, Irfan Pathan and Nayan Mongia.
The Asia Lions comprises men from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It features Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, Mohammed Hafeez, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mohammed Yousuf, Misbah ul Haq, Habibul Bashar and Ashgar Afghan.
The World Giants are Kevin Pietersen, Jonty Rhodes, Brett Lee, Daren Sammy, Imran Tahir, Herschelle Gibbs, Daniel Vettori, Morne Morkel, Brendan Taylor, Kevin O’Brien and Monty Panesar.
Some players have only recently retired and look fit enough for the franchise leagues. Many of them may have bid goodbye a while ago and taken up coaching and commentating jobs, but they could still replay from memory and produce those scintillating strokes and magic balls.
- P.K. Ajith Kumar
Where to watch India Maharajas vs Asia Lions, Legends League Cricket 2022 match?
The live broadcast of the Legends League Cricket 2022 will be available on Sony Ten 1 and Sony Ten 3 . You can catch the live commentary on Sportstar .
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