India Maharajas squared off with Asia Lions in the eliminator of the Legends League Cricket (LLC) 2023 at the West End Park International Cricket Stadium in Doha on Saturday (March 18) and lost the contest by huge 85 runs.
Winning the toss and choosing to bat first, Asia Lions got off to a flying start and scored 191/5 in their allotted 20 overs. Upul Tharanga top-scored for his team and smashed a brilliant 50 off 31 balls comprising seven fours and one six. Mohammad Hafeez (38) and Asghar Afghan (34) also added crucial runs to the Lions’ total.
Meanwhile, Stuart Binny and Pragyan Ojha picked up two wickets each for India. Among the two wickets that Ojha picked also included the dismissal of Tharanga, who was brilliantly caught by Mohammad Kaif inside the third-yard circle.
On the fifth ball of the 9th over, Ojha delivered a short delivery to Tharanga, which the latter tried to hit for a boundary over the leg side. But Kaif diving towards his right, pulled off a one-handed stunner to send the half-centurion back to the pavilion and celebrated the left-hander’s departure in style with other teammates.
Here’s the video:
All your 10 team mates on field running to hug you – it can only happen because of your fielding. This is the ultimate acknowledgment of your commitment, the moment for which you play the game. 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/GdQL0B1xUe
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) March 19, 2023
Kaif finished with three catches in the match. Apart from Tharanga, the veteran India cricketer also caught Thisara Perera and Hafeez.
Talking about India’s innings, the Indian side failed to chase the set target as they were bundled out by the Asian team for 106 in 16.4 overs. Gautam Gambhir scored a convincing 32 runs but failed to sail his team through, and India eventually failed to reach the League’s summit clash. On the other hand, Hafeez and Sohail Tanvir scalped two wickets each for Asia. Tharanga was adjudged ‘Player of the Match’ for his exceptional batting performance.
Shahid Afridi-led Asia Lions will now face World Giants at the same venue on Monday (March 20) for the championship.
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