The Indian giants, led by Sachin Tendulkar, made it to the final of the Road Safety World Series T20 by beating the West Indies giants by 13 runs at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium in Raipur on Wednesday evening. Also the captain and crowd favorite was Tendulkar, who started off with an entertaining cameo by Virender Sehwag and a stylish half-century after Yuvraj Singh hit a six. Chasing a target of 219 runs for the win, the Windies scored 206 for the loss of 6 wickets in 20 overs.
With 24 runs required off 12 balls, Indian seamers R Vinay Kumar and Irfan Pathan lost heart to victory, which was on the way for the spectators at one point of time.
In the 18th over, captain Brian Lara (46) and Tino Best’s Vinay Kumar took two wickets each, which brought them back into the game.
Dwayne Smith (63) and Narsingh Diorin (59 not out) played half-century innings after the West Indies giants were eliminated from the tournament.
The batting performance of the Indian batsmen batting for the West Indies in the first innings gave them a target of over 200 in the second match in a row.
Tendulkar’s half-century and Yuvraj’s 20-ball 49 included six sixes and fours in 20 overs, India’s score being 218 for three.
Apart from important innings of Tendulkar and Yuvraj, Sehwag (35), Yusuf Pathan (37) and Mohammad Kaif (27) also contributed with the bat.
India attacked Sehwag’s ball to drive left-arm spinner Suleman Benn from cover.
There was no rock for Sehwag who was in an aggressive mood when Tendulkar took time.
Sehwag did not save the bowlers on entering his territory. Sehwag had a half-century partnership between the two for the opening wicket before the return of senior Tino Best.
Later, Tendulkar scored another half-century in the last game. He had a 53-run partnership with Kaif before Ryan Austin was dismissed later.
Certainly for a century, Tendulkar snatched the best distribution of the best, going to Kirk Edwards, who made a brilliant effort at the most Esta spot.
Yuvraj and Yusuf later destroyed the West Indies Invasion in the Death Over with some big hits.
The stylish south-paw struck six sixes in the final two overs. In the 19th over, Yuvraj hit a four off leg-spinner Mahendra Nagamattu, while the next two runs came in Sulaiman Benn’s over.
Despite such a huge hit, Yuvraj was unbeaten on 49 runs. But India were comfortably out by scoring 218 runs for 3 wickets in 20 overs.