Mumbai:Riding on Irfan Pathan's all-round effort India Legends registered their second successive victory in as many matches in Match No.3 of the Road Safety World Series at the DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai, tonight.
After picking up all important wicket of in-form Romesh Kaluwitharana, 37-year-old Pathan smashed an entertaining 31-ball 57 not out to help India Legends beat Sri Lanka Legends by five wickets.
The Indians chased down a total of Lanka's 138, achieving the target with eight balls to spare.
Indians had a difficult start to their chase as they lost openers Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and two-drop Yuvraj Singh at the score of 19.It needed a special partnership for an India victory. Mohd Kaif with Sanjay Bangar tried to bring the team back on track with a 43-run stand.
However, SL's left-arm spinner Rangana Herath got the scalp of Bangar putting India in further trouble.Kaif, who looked good in the middle, too, returned after scoring 46.India needed a Pathan special and the man from Vadodara delivered with quick fire half century that included three sixes and six hits to the fence.
Pathan along with Manpreet Singh Gony changed the course of the game hitting 26 runs in the 16th over of Farveez Mahroof before finishing the match in Tillakratne Dilshan's over taking India to 139 for five in 18.4 overs.
Earlier, Munaf Patel showed why he was a vital cog in the Indian team line-up during his international playing days. His accuracy with seam movements once again reaped major dividends when he scalped four for 19 for India Legends to restrict Sri Lanka Legends for 138 for the loss of eight wickets in 20 overs.
Other than Patel, all the other bowlers chipped in with a wicket apiece barring left-arm spinner Pragan Oha.After winning the toss for second successive time captain Tendulkar chose to field again. However, the Lankans managed a decent start with openers Tillakratne Dilshan and Romesh Kaluwitharana getting 46 for the first wicket. The latter was as devastating as he was in the earlier game.
Left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan, who opened the bowling with Zaheer Khan, was at the receiving end of Kaluwitharana's wrath having being whacked for successive boundaries in the second over.However, Patel drew the first blood by scalping Dilshan in the seventh over.As Kaluwitharana was going good, Pathan bounced back to dismiss him by trapping him LBW with a beautiful in-swing delivery for 23.
The legendary Marvan Atapatty followed him soon after wicket-keeper Sameer Dighe took a brilliant diving catch off Manpreet Singh Gony's bowling.The Indian bowlers kept it tight at both ends and kept taking wickets at regular intervals. Barring Kaluwitharana and Chamara Kapugedara none of the visiting side batsman could score beyond 20.(UNI)