Brothers Yusuf and Irfan Pathan starred with the ball, bagging two wickets each to remove the top four batsmen, as India Legends won the Road Safety World Series with a 14-run victory over Sri Lanka on Sunday.
Sanath Jayasurya (43) gave his side a brisk start, scoring the bulk of the runs as the Lankans raced to 61 runs in seven overs. However, a lack of rotation of strike – due in part to a tight hamstring – ensured the legendary southpaw couldn’t accelerate much beyond the powerplay overs.
After a flurry of dismissals, courtesy the Pathan brothers, Chinthaka Jayasinghe (40) and Kaushalya Weeratne (38) added 64 runs for the fifth wicket to steady the chase before the latter’s dismissal in the penultimate over ended Sri Lanka’s hopes of an unlikely comeback win.
Having been put into bat, India lost opener Virender Sehwag (10) and Badrinath (7) early in the innings before Rangana Herath piled the pressure on India with the wicket of skipper Sachin Tendulkar (31).
The pyrotechnics from Yusuf and Yuvraj added 85 runs from the next 47 deliveries, putting India in a commanding position.
The Sri Lankan bowlers put the brakes on India’s scoring in the final three overs, with Yuvraj losing his wicket in the penultimate over in search for quick runs before Irfan smashed a maximum off the final delivery of the innings to give India a strong finish.