'Sachin, Sachin' one more time as India Legends romp home by seven wickets

Watching Tendulkar bat, one couldn't tell he had hung up his boots seven years ago. He put on 83 for the opening wicket with Sehwag to make light work of the chase.

Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag powered India Legends to a seven-wicket win over West Indies Legends on Saturday.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

It’s 9:05 pm on a Saturday. The Marine Drive is buzzing with locals and tourists cooling their heels on a lazy weekend. As they take a stroll at the promenade, they can hear loud cheers, emerging from a few metres away. The 30,000-odd Wankhede crowd is chanting a familiar name: ‘Sachin, Sachin…’ as Sachin Tendulkar walks out to bat along with Virender Sehwag.

In the opening fixture of the UnAcademy Road Safety World Series between India Legends and West Indies Legends, Tendulkar -- who was leading the Indian side -- turned back the clock with a quickfire 36 off 29 deliveries. Watching Tendulkar take on Suleiman Benn and Tino Best, one couldn't tell he had hung up his boots seven years ago. Sehwag and Tendulkar put on 83 for the opening wicket, eclipsing Chanderpaul's fighting 61, to make light work of the 151 chase.

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The West Indies too had star players in its ranks -- captain Brian Lara, Carl Hooper, Chanderpaul, Darren Ganga. But the crowd was there to watch Tendulkar and Sehwag. Their quick singles and chats in the middle, a throwback to the halcyon years, had the spectators --  who packed the stadium despite fears of the coronavirus -- thrilled to bits until Tendulkar’s innings was cut short by Benn, who had him caught behind by Ridley Jacobs.

But his dismissal didn't spoil India’s party as Sehwag slammed a gritty 74 to guide the Legends home, with 10 balls to spare. He was supported by Yuvraj Singh, who chipped in with a seven-ball 10.

Earlier, Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan troubled the West Indies batsmen including Lara, who was stumped by Samir Dighe, off Pathan. As the Indian bowlers scalped a wicket, the giant screen, placed in one corner of the stadium, displayed an apt one-liner -- ‘Old is gold’!

Brief score: West Indies Legends 150/8 in 20 overs (Shivnarine Chanderpaul 61, Darren Ganga 32, Zaheer Khan 2-30, Munaf Patel 2-24, Pragyan Ojha 2-27) lost to India Legends 151/3 in 18.2 overs (Virender Sehwag 74 n.o, Sachin Tendulkar 36, Carl Hooper 2-19) by seven wickets.